Beijing silver and bronze medal winner Louis Smith had signed the pommel horse for a gym academy run by Elite Leisure Collection (ELC), the group that owns One Media, publisher of Times.
After the gym academy finished, ELC decided to donate the apparatus to Frant Primary School, to help springboard the pupils’ gymnastics class.
Amanda Douch, PE teacher, said: “It’s got to the stage where I’ve now got year five and six children able to vault very easily so they need a new goal to progress more, so this pommel horse is an amazing opportunity for them.”
Gymnastics is part of the curriculum at the institution from reception up to Year Six, with all children in those age groups doing one term of the sport per year.
Until the donation, the school only had agility tables, which are not nearly robust enough to support the complicated or advanced techniques which the children are capable of.
For this reason, the school is considering increasing the role of gymnastics in the school now that the facilities are available.
Frant Primary is looking to raise money for a proper springboard and landing mat, to aid getting up and off the pommel horse, meaning a wider range of pupils could use it.
With the strength of the equipment the school has been given – and will hopefully further receive – the potential for the next Louis Smith to arise from the school has been undeniably boosted.
“The children are full of enthusiasm, drive, and passion, so who knows whether one of them could go on to be an Olympian,” Mrs Douch added.