Students from a Sheffield school spent a day with Olympic heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill.
The youngsters, from King Ecgbert School, Dore, were among 300 who took part in the Sky Academy Confidence Day aimed at helping them develop key life skills and confidence through participation in sport.
Pupils from 12 schools across the UK took part in the event at the English Institute of Sport Sheffield, where Jessica trains.
It was organised after research found that one in three young people, aged 11-24, claim they are ‘not confident’.
The study of more than 1,600 young people and 600 parents also revealed that girls feel less confident than boys.
Jessica said: “The best advice I would give to people suffering low self-confidence would be to talk to your parents, teachers, friends or someone you can trust, so they can help you.
“In my mind, sport is a great way to build confidence. It promotes discipline, it releases endorphins that make you feel good and when you win, it’s a real confidence booster.”
Rachel Scott-Toyne, a Year 10 student at King Ecgbert School, said: “The Sky Academy Confidence Day has been a great experience, I’ve learnt so much. It’s so much fun learning from the athlete mentors, and they helped me appreciate the importance of things like resilience and teamwork. Also I can’t believe I met Jessica Ennis-Hill – she’s such an amazing athlete and an inspiration.”
King Ecgbert School teacher, Pat Howse, added: “It’s very important for young people to have faith in themselves and trust their ability. Speaking to someone like Jessica Ennis-Hill does wonders engaging the students and helping them unlock their potential, both in sport and academically. The Sky Academy Confidence Day has been a great success and we feel privileged King Ecgbert School has been involved.”