Former Olympic swimmer who represented Great Britain, Helen Smart, has died aged just 43.
The news was confirmed by Worsley Mesnes Community Primary School in Wigan, UK, where Smith was the head teacher.
“It is with great sadness and regret that I have to announce the sudden death of our beloved Headteacher, Mrs. Helen Smart,” read Worsley Mesnes’ official website.
“Our heartfelt condolences are sent to Helen’s family at this very difficult time.”
The news “will be a shock and cause great sadness to our community,” the statement continued.
“I want to reassure you that the Governors of Worsley Mesnes School are working with the local authority and school to ensure that our children, staff and parents will receive the necessary support in the coming weeks,” the statement, signed by Chair of Governors Alison Halliwell, continued.
“Further information/updates will be issued as and when they are available.”
Smart was a member of Great Britain’s national swimming team in the 1990s.
In 1998, Smart won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games and later won silver medals at both the World and European Championships.
Swimmer Helen Smart also finished in 15th place at the 2000 Olympic games in the 200m backstroke.
“She loved the school, staff, children, and parents so much,” Craig Smart, Helen’s husband, said on Facebook.
“She was so proud to reach her goal of being a headteacher. She used to say to me all the time she could never see herself at another school. She was Worsley Mesnes through and through!”
“I remember only last week she said her goal was to get the school outstanding and that she had the right staff to achieve this!” Smart added.
“I hope you all keep learning like champions. Please learn from this and live your best life with no regrets; take lots of photos, make memories, and keep smiling just like Helen always did! Love to you all! X.”