Superstar sprinter Usain Bolt could visit Tower Hamlets schools - if his old teacher can pull some strings

The fastest man in the world could soon be flying around a track with Tower Hamlets students if a Jamaican teacher has her way.

Lorna Thorpe is the head of PE at William Knibb Memorial High School, Jamaica, once home to Olympic and World Champion sprinter Usain Bolt.

As part of a trip to London, she and one of her star students, Omelia Montague, 18, a promising middle-distance runner, visited Langdon Park School in Byron Street on Monday to finalise twinning plans between their school and this borough.

Next time their world-record breaking hero could accompany them to visit a Tower Hamlets school ahead of his preparations for the London 2012 Games.

That’s if his former teacher can bend his ear.


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Ms Thorpe said: “Usain was just a normal student but we saw his talent early.

“When I go back I will speak to him.

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“He has a passion for children and so I will try to get it into his itinerary.”

The two Jamaican representatives met with ‘sports leaders’, former Tower Hamlets students aged 16-20 who now work or volunteer as PE teaching assistants in the borough’s primary schools.

Their work is done through the school sports partnership – one of many nationwide to earn a partial funding reprieve from the Government last December.

They put together a video bid submitted last year to World Class, a twinning programme run by the British Council and the BBC, which so impressed the judges they paired Tower Hamlets’ schools with the secondary school of the most famous athlete in the world.

One of the ‘leaders’, Rumi Begum, 20, a former Mulberry School for Girls pupil, joked: “It was only fair we got it after the bid we made.”

Plans, including swapping videos, photos, sports stories and recipes between the two countries, were discussed with jellied eels and Banksy’s street graffiti two of many suggestions for representations of east London.

Ms Montague, who also toured Stepney Green School in Ben Jonson Road and John Scurr School in Cephas Street with her teacher, had just one request before going home – to go ice-skating in Canary Wharf.

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