Over the last twenty years I have worked with many athletes from the sports of beach volleyball – triathlon – rugby, not a bad mix hey?
And it’s never been a dull moment working with them as brand ambassadors, product developers and motivators to a work force and the general public. In early 2014, I crossed paths with the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust through two great swimmers, Joanne Jackson, now Turner, and Ross Davenport, I’ve known as elite athletes, fellow charity bike riders in Africa and Dame Kelly Holmes athlete mentors. That afternoon at Nottingham City Council’s council house I realised the true power of an athlete… One that can change a young person’s life for good and real legacy – a person’s life!
The trust was set up by the lady herself eight years ago and supports young people facing disadvantage to realise the key attitudes they need to lead a positive life. This includes getting into employment and achieving career success.
As well as supporting young people, they are committed to working with businesses to create environments where young people can thrive.
I am passionate as the chair of the Triathlon Industry and Sport Nottinghamshire that this should be the sporting world.
As a sports industry, I think we should support these two campaigns: Go the Extra Mile works with businesses to create environments where young people can thrive, offering a vital link between the voice of young people and the demands of industry and it focuses, in many of our core
sectors such as retail, hospitality, healthcare and leisure.
More Than Medals is a campaign aimed at raising awareness of the benefits of worldclass athletes to our society and our economy. It was established to encourages athletes to use their “attitudes, behaviours and experiences” to work with young disadvantaged individuals after leaving their sport.
As well as providing athletes a chance to help those less fortunate, it gives them a purpose and opportunity to transfer their skills away from the sporting stage. The campaign is underpinned by Professor David Lavallee of the University of Stirling, who helped conduct research with the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust which has shown sportspeople to have huge value to add to society, the findings.
If you want to know CEO Emma Atkins’ thoughts on this read her blog http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/emma-atkins/rio-2016games_ b_11424624.html it’s worth a read.
I feel we have a responsibility to help with an athlete’s transition and a struggling young person’s future. I hope you do? This is what an athlete impacted thinks… “I’ve been given a second chance at a sporting career and have been able to inspire young people.
But the privilege has been how they have inspired me.” Jack Rutter, Team GB Cerebral Palsy Football Team Captain, Paralympics 2016 Have a look at www. damekellyholmestrust.org