OLYMPIANS, Beth Tweddle and Eilish McColgan, stepped forward to inspire girls to go for gold.

The top athletes were speakers at the Girls Go Gold Sports Conference at Bolton School.

Two hundred girls witnessed the athletes discuss the challenges and rewards of having a career in sports.

Beth, now aged 33, shared her early sporting experiences, recalling how she tried various sports including ballet, horse riding, swimming and hockey before settling on gymnastics.

By the time she was 12 years old gymnastics was Beth’s sole focus and she ranked amongst the top six gymnasts in the country thanks to her rigorous training regime.

In 2012 Beth won a bronze medal at the London Olympics.

She told the girls: “If you have a dream, don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot achieve it. With determination, you can achieve it.”

Eilish McColgan, aged 27, competed at London 2012 and Rio 2016 in the 3,000 metres and 5,000 metres track events.web2

She told the girls to “dream big and never give up”.

Presentations were also made by John Walker, BBC sports reporter, and Victoria Cotton, BBC sports editor.

Phil Owen and Suzanne Bass, of Manchester Thunder Youth Academy, delivered a netball masterclass at the conference.

Eilish said: “It has been hugely enjoyable, and I have had a great time. Girls have learnt not just about elite sport but so many more avenues that they can take advantage of.”

Kathryn Heatherington, head of sport at Bolton School Girls’ Division and organiser of the event said: “The day has instilled in girls the need to stay focused and to believe in themselves and has also shown them that there are a wide range of career opportunities in sport.”

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