AN ELITE sportswoman, who battled back from a life-threatening injury, is now mentoring youngsters at a Basingstoke school.

Serita Shone, who broke her back during a training crash with the British Bobsleigh team in October last year, underwent a gruelling rehabilitation programme, and is hoping to represent her country in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia.

The 23-year-old is a mentor for Sky Sports’ Living For Sport initiative, which sends elite sportspeople out to schools to boost confidence, change behaviour, increase attainment and improve life skills.

Serita took a series of PE lessons at The Vyne Community School, in Vyne Road, South View, and will also help the group to complete a specific project.

She told The Gazette: “Myself and other sports people were brought in to the programme as we have got individual stories that we hope will inspire and encourage the kids to make the most of their lives, and we use sport as a vehicle for that.

“I have had to break barriers and battle through something which the everyday person does not experience. That takes perseverance, commitment and showed me, as a person, how much more I had to give, and I want to pass that on.”

The group of youngsters are aiming to organise a sports day for primary schools in the area.

Lisa Suffling, PE teacher and schools sports co-ordinator at The Vyne, said: “This initiative is a way to help the children who are not necessarily the most ‘sporty’, but maybe need help with attainment, social skills and attendance.”