AN Olympic gold medallist has inspired pupils during a prize-giving ceremony at a Herefordshire school.

Ed Coode MBE – part of the coxless four team that won at Athens in 2004 – has urged pupils at St Richard’s, Bredenbury, to reach for the skies.

The rower showed his medal and gave a speech during the school’s end-of-term awards ceremony.

School head Nathan Cheesman said the guest of honour was a “great example” who delighted students, staff and parents.

“He gave a wonderful speech about reaching out to a child in front of him, and said they could be an Olympian,” he said.

“He also gave pupils a chance to hold his medal and a lot of parents wanted to do that, too.