Former Olympian and world famous athlete Phillips Idowu gives Coopersale Hall children a Red Nose Day to remember

World champion athlete Phillips Idowu visits school

Phillips Idowu met children at Coopersale Hall School to talk about his Comic Relief fundraising trip

Triple jump world champion and Olympic medallist Phillips Idowu

First published in Where I Live
Last updated
This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter, covering Walthamstow, Leyton and Leytonstone. Call me on 07768 507 739

World champion athlete Phillips Idowu gave hundreds of children a Red Nose Day to remember as he took their school assembly.

The 35-year-old triple jumper visited Coopersale Hall School in Epping to talk about his recent trip to Zambezi to raise money for Comic Relief.

Mr Idowu joined celebrities including comedian Dara O’Briain, Spice Girl Mel C and Radio one DJ Greg James for the Hell and High Water challenge, which saw them rafting for 110km in the treacherous waters of the Zambezi River.

The children transfixed as the star described the once-in-a-lifetime experience.

And he said the predicament of the disadvantaged children he met on the trip serve as an important lesson to youngsters in the UK.

Speaking during his visit to the school, he said: "What I am here to do is to talk about the children that I met, these kids here, many of them will not understand what it is like for children over there.

"I want people to think about the things that we take for granted. Some of the children I met were walking two miles to school, without even having breakfast.

"I want them to know how lucky they are, I came back and I felt like I had nothing to complain about, whatever disappointments I have had.

"When I was there I didn’t want to do the final challenge, I can’t even swim, but when I spoke to my wife and kids on the phone it spurred me on because I knew that they were at home and safe and comfortable, so I had to do it for the kids that don’t have that."

Headteacher Kaye Lovejoy said staff were keen to get the message behind the fun across to the children.

She said: "It is so lovely to have Mr Idowu with us today and the children are all very excited.

"It is important for us that the children know what they are raising the money for and in the run up to today they have learnt about where the money will go.

"Children and parents have been involved and they have been so generous, decorating cakes for sale and buying raffle tickets."

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