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25th April 2008 at 01:00
London olympics chairman Lord Coe is confident that the 2012 games will be good for education - despite admitting that his own Olympic success came through cutting classes
London olympics chairman Lord Coe is confident that the 2012 games will be good for education - despite admitting that his own Olympic success came through cutting classes.

The Olympic gold medallist and world record-breaking athlete (below) told teachers last week that education was enshrined in the Olympic charter, and was something he took very seriously.

But Lord Coe's commitment to learning was not quite so strong at school, he conceded. While a pupil at a secondary modern in Sheffield, his talents were spotted by a geography and RE teacher. The young Seb Coe was good at running round a football pitch, but his ball skills weren't up to much, the teacher noted.

After introducing Coe to cross-country running, the teacher would regularly enquire about how Coe's training schedule was going. If he had failed to pound enough pavements that week, the teacher would send him out of his RE classes to do more miles.

"It goes some way to explain my athletic achievement, but also the lack of my moral underpinning," Lord Coe told a conference for Teaching Awards winners.

While not encouraging his audience to employ similar tactics in their own schools, he urged them to tap into the Olympic dream.

The legacy of the games should be young people seeing the world in a different way, he said.

www.teachingawards.com.

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