AN international runner is teaching pupils at the school she now works at that “perseverance is the key to success.”

Gold medal runner Emma Clayton, who has been fell running since she was 10, is a PE coach at Wibsey Primary School.

The 29 year old was first taught perseverance by her father, who saw potential in her running ability at school sports days in her home town of Scunthorpe and entered her into a fell running race when she was just 10.

After that she progressed from junior to senior fell running, cross country, mountain running and track events and has, most recently, won a team gold medal, along with individual silver and bronze medals, representing Great Britain in the World Championship and the European Championships. She is now considered one of the country’s best mountain runners.

She became PE Coach at Wibsey Primary eight years ago and her key message is about “perseverance,” and she encourages children who are not naturally gifted in sports to give it another shot.

She said: “I talk to the children about how I persevered to get to the top in running and that they can achieve their best if they persevere, too.

“The best way to explain what I do is to show the children videos of me competing in various events. They are amazed when they see me running and being presented with medals.”

Mrs Clayton teaches and coaches children from Reception to Year 6 following the National Curriculum. Sports include football, basketball, netball, athletics, gymnastics and cross country running.

As part of the development of PE at the school, sports such as fencing, archery, Ultimate Frisbee and Parkour were recently added to lessons in partnership with facilitators Premier Sport.

The school is a regular trophy winner at inter-school sports facilitated by the Tong Sports Partnership based at Tong High School, and the school has a trophy cabinet with trophies won at the West Yorkshire Sports competitions. Teams also participates in smaller competitions at Buttershaw Business and Enterprise College.

Mrs Clayton, who has worked with gold medallist international long distance runner Paula Radcliffe, also encourages girls to play sports dominated by boys at before and after school clubs.

Head Nigel Cooper said: “Emma is passionate about sport and PE and, in the last eight years, has helped hundreds of children gain confidence and achieve their potential. She also coaches pupils who are not naturally gifted at sport and PE to do their best as well as helping gifted and talented children to excel.”

Earlier this year the North Road school also decided to track pupils’ fitness levels using the Golden Mile assessment three times a year.

The Golden Mile baseline measurement test measures the time it takes pupils to run continuously and the distance covered in that time. Key Stage 1 pupils are measured for 3 minutes and Key Stage 2 for 4 minutes.

Outdoor learning lead Tracey Rolston said: “The whole idea behind Golden Mile is self-improvement - so it doesn’t particularly matter about the first result, what we hope to see is a better one next time.”