DECADES ago children would have been terrified at the sight of a teacher with a paddle - but youngsters at a Bromsgrove primary school will be roaring their 'oar-some' head on this weekend.

Hanbury C of E First School headteacher Andrew Payne and his Worcester Rowing Club teammates are heading to Lake Velence in Hungary to compete against teams from all over the world.

Mr Payne’s team have two races on Thursday - the first day of The FISA World Rowing Masters Championships.

He will be part of a team of four, then later of a squad of eight rowers aiming to triumph over strong crews from Germany, Russia, The Netherlands and beyond.

Pupils at the school - which was recently rewarded with the nationally-recognised Gold Schools Games Award - will be keeping track of his progress via the regatta website and via his own Twitter handle: @MrPayneRowing

Mr Payne - who will take part in three more races at the competition which ends on Sunday - hopes that this terrific opportunity will inspire pupils at Hanbury School.

“Like many children, I wasn’t a natural footballer or cricketer but was very fortunate to take up rowing at an early age. It has been a fantastic sport for me,” he said.

“Rowing has helped with my physical and mental wellbeing, it inspired me to go to Loughborough University and has given me countless opportunities to compete at regattas all over the country – and now Europe!

“I know we have a lot of children at Hanbury who enjoy sport – some at high levels, others just for fun.

“I strongly believe we should be encouraging everyone to find a physical activity they enjoy, whether they want a happy, healthy lifestyle or to be the next Olympic champion!”