A FORMER sports star stopped in to Severn Vale Primary School this week to teach students about the importance of playing sport.

Ex-South African rugby union player Thinus Delport visited the school on Monday, March 10 as part of the Sky Sports Living for Sport project.

The free UK secondary schools initiative uses sport stars and sport skills to boost confidence, change behaviours, increase attainment and improve life skills of young people.

During the day, gifted PE students took part in a project focussing on the skills needed to organise sporting events with a view to putting on a handball tournament for Year 7 pupils later this year.

The project group looked at tournament promotion, learning the rules of handball, health and safety, how to referee, first aid and event preparation.

As part of the visit, Thinus shared the importance of a healthy breakfast with Year 8 pupils and lucky media students grilled him on topics such as the 2012 Olympic legacy and wider benefits of sport.

Thinus has been handpicked by the Youth Sport Trust to become a mentor because of his unique personal journey, overcoming a range of challenges to achieve sporting success.

The pupils involved in the Sky Sports Living for Sport project shared the activities they have completed, the skills they have learnt and their accomplishments on and off the playing field with Thinus when he visited their school.

During the visit Thinus shared his experiences with the group and used his story of triumph over adversity to support teachers at Severn Vale Primary School to motivate the pupils to be the best they can be.

Extra-curricular sports co-ordinator at Severn Vale Primary School Daniel Higgs said: “Thinus’ visit was an inspiring reward for our pupils who have shown great commitment and dedication to their Sky Sports Living for Sport project. The students loved hearing his story and sharing their experiences of their project with him.

“Most importantly, our young people have learned first-hand that sport can teach them so much. Whether it is the social skills needed to be a team player or the focus and determination required to do a job well,it enables them to learn important life lessons.”

Thinus said: “I came away from Severn Vale Primary School feeling incredibly inspired by the commitment of the young people I met. Hearing how the pupils are putting their new skills and lessons they have learned into practice is a fantastic example of how sport has the power to change lives.”