It is rare for a room full of 200 primary pupils to fall completely silent, but that is exactly what happened as Lewis Crathern, four-time British kitesurfing champion, showed them pictures and videos of him on the water.
The children at The Globe Primary Academy in Lancing could not stay quiet for long however, as Lewis showed a video of him jumping over Brighton Pier and the children clapped and cheered him on.
Lewis, who is from Worthing and also jumped Worthing Pier, visited the school earlier this term to speak to pupils about kitesurfing and the importance of doing things you enjoy.
The assembly was based on the school’s values of responsibility, aspiration, resilience and enjoyment.
Iain Henderson, assistant headteacher, said: “It was such a massive success – the kids were talking about it, parents were talking about it.
“He is really good at engaging the children. It is nice to have someone who is local and has been a success.”
Returning last Tuesday, Lewis held an assembly for reception, year one and year two classes, then took the year-two pupils out onto the field to demonstrate his skills.
The reception children only started five weeks ago, so this is one of their first impressions of the school.
He showed them his equipment including his wetsuit, board, kite and harness and explained about some of the places he has been able to travel to for his sport, such as South Africa, Italy and France.
As well as competing, Lewis commentates on competitions, coaches people on techniques and does a lot of workshops in schools to encourage young people to try the sport.
Lewis said: “I started when my old high school, St Andrew’s, invited me back to do a talk.
“It is a good feeling to come and talk to people in my local area. It is really helpful in my job. If you can talk to kids, you can talk to anyone.”