Olympic badminton bronze medalist Marcus Ellis returned to his former school Colne Valley High this week with a message of belief for all the budding athletes at his alma mater.

The 27-year-old claimed a spot on the podium at Rio this summer with partner Chris Langridge by beating Chinese pairing Biao Chai and Hong Wei in the third/fourth playoff match.

And Ellis assured pupils that they could follow in his footsteps and achieve the same level of success in whatever discipline they are passionate about.

The two-time national doubles champion said: "I think [the message I'd give these children is] that I was just a normal seven, eight, nine, 10-year-old boy and that anything can be done if you put your mind to it and you're hard working and you're dedicated.

Video thumbnail, Marcus Ellis talks about his experience in Rio and what it feels like to win a medal
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Marcus Ellis on his experience at the Olympics in Rio

"I wasn't special in any way - I wasn't a freak or anything like this you know - I was just a normal lad who came to this school just like all the other pupils here.

"I think the message is that don't be scared to go chasing your dream because you can do it and if you enjoy it and you work hard at it there's no reason you can't get to where you want to go."

And the Huddersfield-born athlete reiterated that message in an assembly he gave to the students and his former favourite PE teacher Stephen Mowbray.

After being half way around the world in the summer, Britain's first badminton medalist since 2004 admitted it was a strange feeling returning to the high school he attended several years before.

"It's really, really strange," said Ellis. "It's so good to be back and see quite a few of my old teachers still here.

Olympic badminton medalist Marcus Ellis with former PE Teacher Stephen Mowbray.

"It's so nice to see nothing much has changed - it's just a little bit newer than when I was here. But you know, it was over 10 years since I was here now so I'd hope it had changed a little bit!"

Ellis, who entered the Olympics as 13th seed out of 16 pairs, went on to describe his experience at the games.

"Obviously loads of people have asked me what it was like to win a bronze medal out there [in Rio]," he said.

"It's really, really difficult to put it into words just other than complete relief really that we had finally done it and all that hard work we'd put in over this last ten years that came down to those couple of weeks in Rio [had paid off].

"It's very hard to explain but the experience in Rio as a whole - not just the badminton, but seeing all the other sports, being in that environment with all those unbelievable athletes - it certainly something that I will remember forever - it was really, really special."

Video thumbnail, Marcus Ellis on winning an Olympic medal in an assembly at Colne Valley High School
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Marcus Ellis on winning an Olympic medal

Ellis' focus will now turn to domestic competitions before the 2018 Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast in Australia.

On the Commonwealth Games, Ellis said: "Obviously that's still a couple of years away but it'll be here before we know it.

"We just need to focus on playing well in the next few tournaments that are coming up in the New Year and try andf get some momentum going forward.

"But for sure that's my next aim - to try and go there and get some medals."