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Home-grown Olympic champ Mark Hunter inspires next generation of Newham rowers

PUBLISHED: 14:00 26 September 2014

Olympic gold-medal winning rower Mark Hunter at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Picture: Arnaud Stephenson

Olympic gold-medal winning rower Mark Hunter at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Picture: Arnaud Stephenson

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Olympic rowing gold-medallist Mark Hunter MBE was on hand to offer his expert advice to sporty youngsters.

Mark Hunter spoke with students from St Angela's Ursuline School, Newham. Picture: Arnaud Stephenson Mark Hunter spoke with students from St Angela's Ursuline School, Newham. Picture: Arnaud Stephenson

The Team GB star, who picked up Britain’s first ever lightweight rowing gold at Beijing in 2008 along with partner Zac Purchase, spent the afternoon talking with pupils from St Angela’s Ursuline School, Newham, on Friday.

Stormy weather stopped the young troop from getting on the water but Mark, who was born in the borough and started his career at the Poplar Blackwall and District Rowing Club aged 14, stuck around to answer questions.

The visit was part of the Active People Active Park programme of sport, some of which can be accessed for free, at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

“It was great spending the afternoon with so many enthusiastic young people,” said the rower, who took home silver at London 2012.

“Rowing is a great sport that everyone can enjoy – you are being physically active and you’re out in the fresh air too and being able to do that in such a beautiful landscape and surroundings like the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, is a real bonus.”

To try rowing or canoeing out for yourself, visit the pontoon at the north of the park where sessions will be open to the public until November.

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