Cairncastle pupils thrilled to meet Paralympic star Dianne

Paralympian Dianne McMillan shows her Olympic Torch to pupils at Cairncastle Primary School. INLT 39-634-CON
Paralympian Dianne McMillan shows her Olympic Torch to pupils at Cairncastle Primary School. INLT 39-634-CON

PUPILS at Cairncastle Primary School were thrilled to meet Paralympian double gold medallist swimmer Dianne McMillan when she paid a visit to the school recently.

Dianne attended the school assembly along with local Church of Ireland minister Roger Thompson. Dressed in her Olympic Torch Relay tracksuit, she talked about her sporting career beginning at the Larne Swimming Club aged five and progressing to become a Paralympic double gold medallist.

Aged just 16, Dianne won two gold, one silver and two bronze medals at the 1988 Seoul Games, followed by a bronze medal at the 1992 Barcelona Games.

Dianne explained to the children about her disability (she is a below the knee amputee), showed them the prosthetic leg she uses for running and told how she had to work hard at her training to achieve success as a swimmer. She went on to show them the Olympic torch she carried through Carnlough during the relay back in June.

And Dianne also encouraged all children to participate in sport, explaining that it helps to not only keep you fit and healthy, but also helps you make good friends and teaches you self-discipline.

She finished by answering questions from the children and by giving everyone a chance to hold the torch.

Rev Thompson, Rector of St Patrick’s, Cairncastle, with All Saints’, Craigyhill said: “It was really good of Dianne to make time to come along for the assembly.

“The children really enjoyed meeting her and hearing all about the Paralympics – they even gave her a spontaneous round of applause at the end.”