CHILDREN at a local school learned all the white stuff from a leading international athlete.
Alpine skier Jan-Michael Kochalski met children from Williamston Primary in Livingston, when he gave a talk to the school ski team, helping to promote health and fitness in line with the Curriculum for Excellence.
The visit coincides with the final leg of the Vancouver Winter Olympics, which Jan-Michael (24), who is sponsored through the Atos Origin Champions and Challengers Bursary scheme, unfortunately missed this year due to an injury.
A skier since the age of two, Jan-Michael grew up in Stavanger, Norway, before moving to the North East of Scotland at the age of five.
Before being selected for the British Team he trained with the Scottish Alpine Ski Team in the British Combined Nations Programme.
Williamston Primary School’s head teacher, Mrs Black said his visit has boosted the pupils’ aspirations.
She said: “The children were absolutely delighted to meet an Olympic hopeful in the flesh.
“Jan-Michael was fantastic with the children and he enjoyed telling them all about his sporting achievements and experiences.
“He was an inspiration to our pupils.”
Jan-Michael said he was pleased to see the pupils’ enthusiasm for the sport.
He said: “I really enjoyed visiting the pupils at Williamston Primary School – they had plenty of enthusiasm and I don’t doubt there are a few budding sports stars amongst them.
“It’s great to see that a primary school have introduced skiing lessons into the sporting curriculum.”
The AtosOrigin Champions and Challengers Bursary scheme, developed with the support of the British Olympic Association was started in 2005, to offer support to young athletes who are the rising stars in their field.
Steve Langmead, vice-president Scotland at AtosOrigin, which has a base in Livingston, said: “Jan-Michael’s motivation and the challenges that he faces as an athlete are inspirational. His enthusiasm for sport, health and fitness is excellent and to be able to share this with the pupils is a great thing.”