Paralympian athlete Holly Robinson (centre) with pupils at
the Kaikorai Primary School yesterday. Photo by Linda
Holly Robinson held the pupils at the Kaikorai Primary
School spellbound yesterday as she told them about the London
Robinson (17), who finished seventh in the javelin, told the
pupils what it was like competing in the stadium in front of
Robinson was a special guest at the school that had
integrated its curriculum around the 2012 Paralympics in
The class of years 1 to 4 pupils was one of the four
classrooms across New Zealand to win the Paralympic
Supporters creative class photo competition.
They won the years 1 to 4 with the Opawa School,
The winner of years 5 and 6 was Fairhaven School, Te Puke and
years 7 and 8 was won by Cambridge Middle School.
In her talk to the pupils Robinson highlighted the need to
sacrifice some normal teenage activities to get to the
''I had to give up hanging out with friends so much and going
to the movies,'' she said.
''I would have loved to keep lying in bed but I had to get up
at 6am to go to the gym."
A pupil in the winning class, Maia Hunter (9), caught the
''Holly gave a very inspiring talk,'' she said.
''She has shown what you can do if you make the effort."
Robinson, a pupil at Taieri College, left her family back in
her home town of Hokitika to live in Dunedin and train with
coach Raylene Bates.
''It is a very big thrill,'' Sue Graham, the teacher of the
years 1 to 4 class, said.
''When we joined up with the Paralympics Supporters group it
hadn't occurred to us that there might be a prize."
It is the first time that the Kaikorai school has won a
The special prize was visit to the school by Robinson, who
presented posters of the New Zealand Paralympics athletes,
New Zealand pins that were swapped with athletes of other
countries at London and a miniature of the Games mascot,
The Paralympics project was integrated into the curriculum in
physical education, health, social studies and writing.
''We did a lot of our games - volleyball, bowls - sitting
down like paralympian athletes.
"We held our own Minties Olympics,'' teacher Graham said.
''It gave us an appreciation of the efforts that the
paralympics athletes put into their sport."
It was a brilliant way of building the curriculum around a
real life event.
''We used the modern technology to bring worlds that are
outside into our classroom. It had a lot of appeal to our