PUPILS at a primary school had the opportunity to meet and train with an international gymnast during half term.

Schoolchildren at Herne View Church of England Primary School in Ilminster met Commonwealth Gold medallist Kelly Simm, who visited Ilminster as part of a gymnastics day run by Premier Education Taunton at the school’s Ditton Street campus.

Kelly has competed at European and World Championships, and most recently won gold as part of Team England at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Chard & Ilminster News: Kelly SimmKelly Simm (Image: Addo Photography Design)

Kelly demonstrated some of her skills and put the group through their paces, providing encouragement and tips to the young gymnasts.

She also shared insights from her experience in elite sport, and the children had the chance to see and handle her medals.

The children said: "She was really friendly and did some good moves right in front of us.

"Meeting a professional gymnast was really cool and makes me want to practice gymnastics more."

Chard & Ilminster News: The medal in the photo is Kelly Simm’s gold from the 2022 Commonwealth Games in BirminghamThe medal in the photo is Kelly Simm’s gold from the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham (Image: Addo Photography Design)

Premier Education Taunton has run multi-activity days at Herne View for several years, and this gymnastics day was the first in what organiser Andrew Overhill hopes will be an ongoing series at Herne View.

Mr Overhill said: “We have been fortunate enough to work with Claudia Fragapane in the past and now Kelly Simm.

“Gymnasts often look so tall on the television and in photos but in person, they can be quite short.

“Claudia for example is 4ft 5ins tall. This helps them to relate to the children immediately and when they perform gymnastic skills in front of them hopefully the children are inspired.

“They were certainly buzzing when they went home. Hopefully, we can arrange more visits in future.”

Herne View Headteacher Claire Oaten said: “As a school, we value being able to give our children as wide an education as possible, including sport and physical education.

“Sessions like these from Premier Education not only inspire our pupils but also encourage them to strive to be their best selves in sport.”