Olympic trampoline gymnast and athlete mentor Laura Gallagher worked with 14 students at St Katherine’s School in Bristol, delivering an On Track to Achieve programme funded by GWR. As with all On Track to Achieve programmes, working with an elite athlete mentor helps to unlock the key skills of Confidence, Resilience and Self-Esteem, but on this occasion, the participants were in for an extra treat at their final session.

Flora teaches at St Katherine’s in Bristol and she told us more about the impact working with an elite athlete like Laura and the whole On Track to Achieve programme had on the students.

"This project was one of the best things these children have ever done. All the pupils selected have at least one form of disadvantage in their lives and were either pupil premium or have special educational needs with a behavioural presentation. Their athlete mentor Laura was reliable, positive and motivational.

The project made these young people feel special and as though they could make positive change. I know that all the young people enjoyed the sessions and felt special being part of the project. They enjoyed learning in a different way, developing their practical skills and the activities they did helped to illustrate the ideas being explored within the workshops.


Working with an athlete was a tremendously inspiring opportunity for the pupils. Learning about the adversities both their athlete mentor and Dame Kelly Holmes have experienced on their journeys was inspiring and motivational.

At the end of the project Laura organised a trip to Axis Trampoline Centre which was really exciting for the children, they genuinely couldn’t believe that they were going to be trampolining. Laura taught them all a number of trampolining skills and every single child completed a routine under her expert guidance. This was an opportunity these vulnerable young people will never forget."

You can see some of the amazing skills learned by the students here:

Comments from the students about the programme were really positive with students saying the whole programme was amazing and they learned loads of new skills including teamwork and communication skills from Laura. Most of them wanted to do the programme all over again which is always a good sign!

This On Track to Achieve programme was funded by GWR as part of the Customer and Communities Improvement Fund. In total GWR funded six programmes in London, Swindon, Bristol, Bath, Bridgend and Cardiff.