Sporting stars are to join Olympic sprint legend Darren Campbell's team of Athlete Mentors as they visit schools in across the UK to help improve the lives of thousands of young people on behalf of Sky Sports Living for Sport during the new academic year.
Now in its ninth year, Sky Sports Living for Sport is a free initiative delivered in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust that uses sports stars and sports skills to improve the lives of thousands of young people in secondary schools across the UK.
World champions and gold medallists from sports including Athletics, Rugby and Boxing will represent Sky Sports Living for Sport, visiting secondary schools to inspire and motivate pupils to apply the life lessons learned through sport to all aspects of their lives. All the Athlete Mentors have been specially selected by the Youth Sport Trust because of their own inspiring journeys to overcome issues and achieve success.
The Athlete Mentors' school visits are a major incentive and a fundamental part of Sky Sports Living for Sport is the opportunity for thousands of pupils across the UK to meet and speak with one of a selection of sports stars.
The full Athlete Mentor team across the UK is:
- Alex Danson, Hockey
- Alistair McKean, Adaptive Rowing
- Chris Cook, Swimming
- Chris Horsman, Rugby
- Daniel Caines, Athletics
- Darran Langley, Boxing
- Dermot Gascoyne, Boxing
- Hannah Beharry, Boxing
- Heather Fisher, Women's Rugby
- Jeanette Kwakye, Athletics
- Jenna Downing, Inline Skating
- JJ Jegede, Long Jump Jo Yapp, Women's Rugby
- Katy Storie, Women's Rugby
- Mike Mullen, BMX
- Natasha Jonas, Boxing
- Nicola Minichiello, Bobsleigh
- Rachael Mackenzie, Thai-Boxing
- Steve Brown, Wheelchair Rugby
- Steve Frew, Gymnast
- Thinus Delport, Rugby
- Tim Prendergast, Athletics
- Tom Davis, Judo
During the visits - for which participating schools can register athttp://livingforsport.skysports.com - the Athlete Mentors share their stories with the young people, talking not only about their sporting careers, but also more personally about the challenges they have faced in their own lives. The visits help pupils understand how sport has enabled the Athlete Mentor to overcome the issues and barriers in his or her life, providing tangible proof that lessons learned through sport, such as determination, respect and confidence can be applied to all areas of their daily lives to help them achieve their goals.
Nicola Minichiello, Sky Sports Living for Sport Athlete Mentor, comments: "Sport is such a powerful tool to use for improving life skills. From my own personal experiences I know exactly how sport can truly help a person strive to get the best out of life. Each sporting activity I go through with the young people has additional benefits and skills attached to it that can be applied into everyday life, whether it be learning how to work as a team or developing skills for social interaction".
"To have the opportunity to share my own story with young people is a real privilege; I'm very excited about the year ahead and meeting more inspirational students across the East Midlands. Sky Sports Living for Sport is such a fantastic initiative that really makes a big difference to the lives of thousands of young people."
The athletes will parallel the British Athletes Commission's "Six Keys to Success" by instilling in pupils values such as belief, determination, people skills and time management.
Darren Campbell, Ambassador of Sky Sport Living for Sport, comments: "Sky Sports Living for Sport is now into its ninth year and once again we have an incredible line up of motivating and inspiring Athlete Mentors. They will be visiting hundreds of schools across the UK sharing their personal stories and playing a big role in supporting the work of the teachers to encourage pupils to embark on their own journeys of development."
To date, 30,000 young people in over 1,500 schools have benefited since the programme began in 2003, and over 400 schools signed up during the past academic year. The ambition of the project is for 2012 schools to register with Sky Sports Living for Sport by 2012 and to build the activities put in place as part of the initiative into curricular and extracurricular programmes.
With the help of online planning tools, resources and a supply of free sports clothing, Sky Sports Living for Sport has benefitted 30,000 young people in over 1,500 schools since the programme began in 2003. This year 750 schools across the UK will benefit from a visit from a Sky Sports Living for Sport Athlete Mentor.