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Zara Dampney visits Hampreston First School
4:00pm Saturday 2nd June 2012 in London Olympics 2012 - Latest News
OLYMPIC hopeful Zara Dampney returned home for an “inspirational” visit to her Dorset school.
The beach volleyball star delighted pupils, parents and teachers at Hampreston First School near Wimborne by cutting the ribbon on their new “Olympic” track and starting the children on their fun run.
Zara said it had been “a wonderful thing for her to come back to the school” where she had been “so happy”.
Deputy headteacher Roy Sewell said Zara had taken part in a busy day of events.
“She was truly inspirational and the children were in awe of her,” he said.
“It was clear how much it meant not only to the children but also the parents and teachers.
“And that was reciprocated by Zara and she remembers the support of the staff, some of whom are still here.
“Zara remembered her first taste of sports success winning the school pancake race in 1995.
“Her name is still on the trophy.”
On her visit back the 25-year-old demonstrated her volleyball skills with some of the pupils.
She showed the technique she is hoping to use at the Olympic beach volleyball competition if she is selected to play at Horse Guards parade in London.
And she was visited by her first volleyball coach Trevor Rothwell.
Zara’s former headteacher Jill Mumford remembered her attending the school with her brothers Justin and Tristan.
“Her visit has been absolutely special,” she said.
“When she was asked to come back she agreed straight away.
“And that’s a huge privilege because she has a hectic schedule.
“But nothing was too much for her and she said it was a wonderful thing for her to come back to the school where she was so happy”.
“She is the loveliest person.”
The school wished her the best for her Olympic ambitions and is hoping their new gravel track will provide a legacy from the games.
The new running track has been funded through a combination of the school, The Friends of Hampreston Association and donations from parents.
Mrs Mumford added: “It was a magic day and hugely inspiring for the children.
“I said to the children to have dreams as she shows where you can go and how you can make your dreams come true if you work hard enough and go for it.”