EXCITEMENT surrounding the lighting of the Olympic torch in Greece was echoed by Castleford youngsters last week as pupils kicked off their own celebrations.
Pupils at Oyster Park Primary School were treated to a visit from torch bearer Jono Lancaster who dedicated the whole day to helping inspire students.
Jono gave a full school assembly and spoke about his genetic condition, Treacher Collins Syndrome, and how he has not let bullies grind him down.
The 27-year-old, who is patron of charity Life For A Kid, said: “When you spend a full day in school you can really get children to open up and raise all sorts of issues. It was brilliant and it’s such a good school.
“All the children have their heads screwed on and the fact they raised £260 for Life For A Kid made it a really special day.”
As well as giving the assembly, Jono – who is currently gearing up for a fundraising bike ride from London to Monaco – took tea and cake with reception class children, who baked especially for the occasion.
The lifelong Featherstone Rovers’ fan also took to the sports field to practice torch relays with youngsters who created their own replica flames out of paper and foil.
Mandy Reather, headteacher, said inviting Jono into the school was just the start of their Olympic-themed celebrations.
She said: “The torch was lit in Athens last week and we were looking at starting our own Olympic celebrations, so it seemed logical to have Jono in to discuss how he felt about being selected as a torch bearer.
“He shared stories about his life and what has inspired him to be determined and have greater self-esteem, and he told them not to let their appearance hold them back.
“He never stopped all day, he was fabulous.”
Jono will run through Wakefield city centre with the Olympic flame on June 25.
On the same day it will be carried by several other torch bearers on Leeds Road, Front Street and Park Road in Castleford, Front Street, Jubilee Way, Mill Hill Road and Ackworth Road in Pontefract, and Ackworth Road and Barnsley Road in Ackworth.
Full details and times are expected to be released next week.