A SCHOOL pupil was delighted to catch up with an old friend 10 years after they first met on the running track.

Winchester MP Steve Brine bumped into teenager Sam Mballa on his recent visit to Toynbee School in Chandler's Ford.

The politician was there to see long-standing headteacher, Matthew Longden, and talk about issues such as Covid recovery, the recent Schools White Paper and Toynbee’s continued improvement.

Hampshire Chronicle: In 2022In 2022

However, he also met up with 17 year-old Sam, who will leave the school this year to go to college.

They first met in 2012 at an event to celebrate the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics when Sam, then seven years old, handed the batten to his MP at a special Track2Track Relay held at the Winchester and District Athletic Club running track at Bar End.

Steve said: “It was so great to see Sam again who’s become a fine young man. His parents and the school are, rightly, extremely proud. He’s now taller than me!”

Hampshire Chronicle: In 2012In 2012

Steve also praised the work of the school and its head.

Steve said: "Matthew is one of only two heads who've been in post longer than I've been the MP and what a job he's doing at Toynbee. It is an absolutely first-rate school these days which any parent would be thrilled to send their children to.

"I visit so many schools in the course of my work and you can tell a well-run institution if you spend any time there from just meeting staff and pupils and getting a feel for the place. Toynbee is providing a superb all-round education for young people in this part of Hampshire and I always thoroughly enjoy my visits there."

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