PUPILS in Malpas were treated to a special day when Paralympian and Strictly Comer Dancing star Lauren Steadman visited the school on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old triathlete, who appeared on the BBC show with Whitchurch’s AJ Pritchard in 2018, was at the Chester Road school to talk about bullying with pupils.

She took her gold medal from the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, and she fielded a range of questions from pupils, from bullying at school to her favourite ice cream flavour.

A spokesman for the school explained how the event with Lauren, who was born without her right lower arm, came to happen and thanked her for giving up her time.


“One of our wonderful teachers who has a keen interest in sport and triathlons planned a mini-triathlon activity for our children,” they said.

“This would take advantage of our temporary on-site swimming pool and two weeks of swimming lessons.

“We are incredibly lucky as a school to have a parent who works for Triathlon UK and they very kindly arranged for us to have a visit from Lauren.

“Lauren led an assembly for our children about her career and what it takes to be an accomplished athlete who has competed in more than 30 different countries.

“She spoke about never letting any obstacle stand in your way.

“She also spoke about being given the opportunity to learn to swim in Year 6 and how this inspired her to eventually complete Triathlons around the world.

“Our children had the opportunity to ask Lauren questions ranging from ‘What is your favourite ice cream?’ (Chocolate chip) to ‘Were you bullied in school because of your disability?’

“The answer was yes, although she quickly realised this was about the people doing the bullying and not about her.

“She made the decision not to let anything stand in her way and wouldn’t be told what she could not do.”

Lauren has competed at four summer Olympics, from 2008 to 2020 (held in 2021 because of Covid-19), as a swimmer in Beijing and London before switching to triathlon in Rio 2016 and winning a silver medal and then gold in Japan.

Malpas Alport headteacher, Nic Wetton, added: “It was a joy and privilege to have Lauren visit Malpas Alport Primary School on Tuesday.

“Her story is an inspiration to us all and her success is infectious.

“Our job is to inspire the next generation of Olympians and she has certainly helped us with this.”