TEENAGERS in Hampshire have started a new club – with help from an Olympic athlete.

Olympic silver medallist Debbie Flood visited pupils at Hounsdown School to help them start up a new rowing club.

The visit was part of an initiative by charity Energise Me, whose aim is to “beat inactivity”.

Pupils heard from Debbie about the “can do” attitude and how to harness determination in sport.

And as part of the scheme the school now has ten Concept 2 rowing machines to get them up to speed.

Working alongside Coalporters Rowing Club and Solent Rowing Academy coach Terry Woolford, any teenager living near Hounsdown is welcome to join the new club, which is one of 100 set up by Energise Me with funding from Hampshire County Council and Sport England.

Hounsdown’s head teacher, Julie Turvey said: “This is a fantastic initiative and opportunity for our students and those in the local area. Developing links with local clubs is essential to develop and grow new talent. We hope that we might have a rowing Olympian from Hounsdown in the future.

“We are truly grateful for the support from Energise Me in funding this venture. Let’s carry on Rowing.”

Debbie Flood won silver medals in the quadruple sculls at both the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games. She was a also Great Britain junior judo international and a county level 1500m and cross–country runner and shot–putter before she took up rowing.

At the 2006 World Championships, she originally finished in the silver medal position in the quadruple sculls, but was elevated to gold after one of the winning Russian crew failed a drugs test.