EXCITED Christchurch youngsters met a real sporting star when Paralympian Richard Whitehead paid a visit to the school.

Richard, who is the current world record holder for leg amputees in both the half and Olympic marathon distances, met pupils from St Joseph’s School in Somerford this week.

The athlete, who is a congenital double amputee, was the first-ever leg amputee to complete the marathon in under three hours.

Carol Dayantis, subject leader for PE at St Joseph’s said: “The children absolutely loved him.

“He came in and did a whole school assembly. They were mesmerised by him.

“All of them asked lots of questions and he went to each class and told them about why he became an athlete.

“It was so inspiring for everyone. He was so modest as well. He didn’t want to be called a celebrity, which was very refreshing for the pupils to hear in this day and age.”

Richard Whitehead said: “It was fantastic to spend the day with the children and share in their excitement for the Games. I enjoyed talking to them about my journey and hopefully inspiring them to try new sports.

“Hopefully, I’ll see some of them compete at a future Games.”

The youngsters, who have been taking part in an Olympics week, also got to see an Olympic torch as part of the visit.

Earlier this week they also took part in a Skip2Bfit Challenge, seeing how many skips they could do in two minutes.