European boxing champion Ben Jones was “mobbed” by youngsters at his old school in Langley Green after he encouraged them to work hard.
Jones, 32, of Ifield, explained how education will help him after he retires as a boxer to more than 100 Langley Green Primary School pupils on Tuesday last week (April 1).
Vanessa Cumper, deputy mayor of Crawley, who works as a first-aider at the school, said: “He was very good. He had the children absolutely enthralled.
“The vast majority of them stayed back to ask him additional questions, they just mobbed him.”
She said Jones told the pupils how working hard at school helped him set up his plumbing and heating business.
He said he was privileged to be able to box as well as earn a living from his business.
Vanessa said: “He’s more than happy to go round to various different schools and speak to children.
“He wants people to understand that boxing is about being an athlete and a positive role model.
“That’s something he works very hard to get across to children.”
The youngsters tried on the boxing champion’s two European title belts he brought in.
Vanessa said the children were surprised at how heavy they were.
Jones told the pupils which famous boxers he had met, which included former world champion Amir Khan.
Jones also talked about the enormous size of professional heavy-weight boxers.
But he refused to answer questions about which football team he supported.
Vanessa said: “He was very diplomatic and said he could not divulge that information.”
Vanessa gave Jones a tour of his old school during which he reminisced about his old teachers. Jones attended the former middle school. The old middle school building is still in use but will be demolished and turned into flats by September 2014.