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Q&A with DAVID BECKHAM about inspiring young children through sport - ANSWERS BACK

(78 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 04-Sep-13 14:04:26

This week we're offering you the chance to post your question to none other than [drum roll]DAVIDBECKHAM. As a national sporting icon,Becksis an inspirational role model to millions of young people and is going to be answering your questions in a Q&A themed around mentoring, coaching and inspiring young people through sport. Post your questions to him before midday Monday 9th September and we'll select and send TEN questions over to him and post up his answers on Monday 16th September.

Davidsupports Sky Sports Living for Sport, the free initiative for schools that uses sports stars and skills to improve the lives of young people across Britain and Ireland. Now in its tenth year the initiative is run in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust and reaches a third of all secondary schools with 30,000 young people participating every year. You can also catch David in series of football masterclasses on Game Changers on Saturday mornings at 9am on Sky Sports 1HD.

Sky Sports Living for Sports is also supported by ambassadors Gold Medallists, Jessica Ennis CBE, Darren Campbell MBE, Katie Taylor and a team of 74 other world class athlete mentors who use their life-changing stories and expertise to inspire young people to learn new life skills through sport.

How does the initiative work?
Teachers can run the Sky Sports Living for Sport on a stand-alone basis or as part of existing curriculum activities by selecting up to 20 students who they feel need support and submitting a simple project plan in outline. Sky Sports Living for Sport then sends them information packs and t-shirts. Teachers set project goals with their groups including asking them to lead their own sports event, before finally celebrating the group?s achievements. Every school that participates will receive two visits from a professional Athlete Mentor.

To sign up a school

This Q&A is sponsored by Sky Sports Living For Sport

HeySoulSister Wed 04-Sep-13 16:25:21

oooh this is exciting!!

i'd like to ask David if he thinks its important for parents to be 'sporty' themselves and if he thinks it makes any difference to a child reaching his/hers potential? if so,is there any way parents can become involved,or are there any plans for parent/child/family sports initiatives?

Nerfmother Wed 04-Sep-13 16:37:06

My teen dd would be inspired to play sport if David came to watch. grin

worldgonecrazy Wed 04-Sep-13 16:44:02

Do you think we need to increase the range of sports offered in most schools. The schools don't tend to be very imaginative, and it's still football (sorry!), rounders, netball, maybe rugby or cricket if they're lucky.

Why can't we encourage more interesting sports - fencing, rowing, clay shooting, etc. Would that encourage more children to be involved in sports?

OneStepCloser Wed 04-Sep-13 17:05:36

Hi David,

How do you think inner city schools that dont have much outside space can encourage youngsters to become interested in other sports? Do you feel that athletic/gymnastic clubs should become more involved with the schools? Most PS teachers do not have knowledge to teach sports properly hence them sticking to football/netball etc....

As a former PS teacher I found it very sad when I saw children with what I would percieve as natural talent in running/gymnastics etc and for it not to be picked up or encouraged, as academics take priority.

Its fantastic to see initiatives come into schools, but we need the philosophy of PE to change completely in my opinion. (Hmm maybe through parliament David, you have the ears of those in power grin)

Nerfmother Wed 04-Sep-13 17:08:26

By 'need support' is that going to be creative or do you have criteria? So, are you targeting deprived areas? Or will it be open to anyone with a good enough reason? It sounds great so would be a shame to exclude groups on the basis of inverse snobbery or stereotypes.

BlackeyedSusan Wed 04-Sep-13 19:33:21

is there anything that can link to primary schools? we live in the innercity and there is not a lot of spare cash for sports clubs, although we manage one, and not a lot of space to play sport (who would want to go to dog poo park, as it is known locally, to play?)

buttermellow Wed 04-Sep-13 20:05:16

Does this target children of all abilities? I'm severely dyspraxic and always struggled hugely with sport and PE as a child. It's taken me years to have the confidence to do sports at all (leading to me being obese, unfortunately) and I still prefer to exercise in the privacy of my own front room! It would be good to hear that children of all sporting abilities (no matter how challenging sport may be) are being encouraged and supported through this initiative. I would love to have had childhood experiences of sports that weren't humiliating/downright scary!

TeWiSavesTheDay Thu 05-Sep-13 07:46:31

Hi David,

I read a while who that one of the big things for encouraging children to be active is if there parents are active too. My husband plays basketball for a local team as well as running and cycling.

We are semi-rural and I find it really hard to find clubs I would like to join! Most women's clubs seem to be dance or aerobics based which don't suit me. I'd really like to do something like basketball or football but there are no social women's clubs here.

What do you think can be done to improve access to social (for fun and fitness) sports clubs and set a good example to children that sports are for everyone - not just those who are Olympic standard!

hatsybatsy Thu 05-Sep-13 09:00:33


A bugbear of mine is that in my kids school, they fix their 'A' and 'B' teams quite early on in year 3. While I'm fine with competitive sport, and was happy during the football season when my son got into the 'B' team, when it came to cricket, he was left out all together. So he (and 3 other boys) had to do lessons whenever all the other boys were playing cricket outside!

I just wondered how you feel a school can get a good balance between competitiveness and inclusiveness - and what I could do now to convince my 8 year old that his sporting career is not yet over!

IsabellaMilborne Thu 05-Sep-13 09:22:10

Hi David,

Do you think that some children are born "sporty", or can parents, teachers and coaches help to develop sportiness in everyone?

Thanks smile

LadyVader Thu 05-Sep-13 09:54:18

Hi David,

With Football generally portrayed in the media as a pretty male-dominated sport (the women's World Cup coverage was good but sparse) what would you say to my dd to inspire her to try it?

Thanks blush

Lizzylou Thu 05-Sep-13 10:03:01

Nerfmother grin (me too!)

I'd like to ask what David thinks about the pushiness of football clubs/parents with children as young as 6/7 to be signed to professional clubs? My eldest is never going to be the next David Beckham wink, or at least is a late blossomer footballwise and we left a local club because of the awful pushiness of the parents and the men who ran it. He now only plays football in the playground and in the back garden, which is a shame. He loves playing, just isn't a star player as of yet.

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Thu 05-Sep-13 10:35:13

I would probably feel more inspired to get into sport if David was coaching <ahem> blush

My question would be, do you think we should be promoting sports that are a bit less mainstream? For instance Lacrosse is quite popular here, and I know a couple of friends who would prefer of their children didn't get too focussed on football (because of issues with the lifestyle of professional footballers) and had the opportunity to play different sports, or where encouraged to incorporate sport and fitness into their every day lives (cycling to school, walking trips at weekends etc).

Willemdefoeismine Thu 05-Sep-13 13:14:46

Hi David

As someone non-sporty who quite liked playing badminton as a teenager, I always wonder whether you think that there's a sport for everyone, even we unsporty ones?

If indeed this is the case, then shouldn't there some type of primary school system for assessing potential sporting prowess/aptitude and perhaps guiding parents in the right direction in terms of where they invest their money coaching/club-wise for their child(ren)?

It seems to me that perhaps the reason for the over-representation of privately-educated people in many sports is down to their well-off parents having had the spare cash to enable their children to try out all manner of sports (from a very young age) until they find one (or more) that suits! Sadly not all of us can afford this luxury.

Many thanks

reggiebean Thu 05-Sep-13 13:27:56

Um.... Will you marry me?!

GingerBeerAndTinnedPeaches Thu 05-Sep-13 13:28:07

Hi David

I am all for encouraging children to participate in and enjoy sport as much as possible. What do you think of the current government's attitude to sport for young people (rich and poor)? Local councils have made so many cuts and the Olympics is pretty much forgotten for many people.

Thank you for all you do for sport in the UK in general, you have inspired so many children (and are such a nice person when you meet members of the public) smile

Lavenderhoney Thu 05-Sep-13 16:57:59

There are reports that the government has authorised the selling off of school playing fields ( 50 so far). Sue Campbell of Youth Sport Trust is a non political advisor but doesn't seem to be getting anywhere with stopping this. It seems yet again disadvantaged children will be left out.

What do you think you could achieve by being more vocal and public about this? Would you be prepared to head up something to stop this? They won't get the land back, and I doubt the houses being built on it for families will have more than a tiny garden and certainly no big park.

Surely athletes and clubs could be very influential in stopping it in their area and supporting parents. Would you be prepared to get involved in that and support it with action.

Would you team up with Jamie Oliver, for instance school dinners being healthier plus the opportunity to run about on a playing field taking part in all manner of sport? He has the influence already...

SirRaymondClench Thu 05-Sep-13 17:23:38

Dear David
I have two boys 12 and 14 and would welcome them playing more sport, however we seem to be battling against the X Box more and more.
What can we do (apart from burn the X Box!) to encourage them to take part in more outdoor sports now that the Autumn evenings are about to start and the lure of the X Box becomes greater.
I know we aren't alone in this, other parents I speak to say the same thing.

aristocat Thu 05-Sep-13 17:33:15

Hello David, whilst this is a super project why is it only for Secondary schools?
What about the Primary schools? Is there nothing similar for our younger children. I like the 'mentor' visits, this is inspiring and motivational and surely would help our primary children get more interested from an early age.

RatherBeOnThePiste Thu 05-Sep-13 18:16:32

When you're away injured from your sport, how do you manage to stay focused and not give up? Any advice?

My daughter is a serious rower, had an injury this time last year, and was out for several months. She got incredibly low and frustrated. It was awful. We were lost too sad

Happily she is back in business, but I'd love to know how to support her better, because it will happen again.

NonnoMum Thu 05-Sep-13 21:05:50

Hello Mr Beckham (I'm v formal, me)

This is my question...

Have you ever played netball? (It's a great game and rather under-rated, I reckon...)

If you ever want a game we play on a Wednesday night...

NonnoMum Thu 05-Sep-13 22:51:54

btw Mrs Beckham could come down too.

I reckon she'd be a mean Wing Attack and you'd be a good Goal Defence...

Drywhiteplease Thu 05-Sep-13 23:11:38

Hi David,
A group of us are having a meet up 12th Oct...well save you a place!!!

I work in a primary school, I hate football in the playground because it always ends in tears,fights,upset etc....why? What can I do about this? haven't the faintest idea about football get a whistle?

mummyxtwo Fri 06-Sep-13 10:04:01

Hi David smile Please tell your wife that my favourite thing in my wardrobe is a pair of her VB jeans!

Sorry, to the point... My son is not yet 5, loves football and Manchester United, and is quite a skillful little dribbler! We both love football and have encouraged this as we feel that, for a boy in particular, being into sports makes you less likely to get bullied at school or into undesirable behaviour. We live in Wales, where rugby is more celebrated than football, and in a couple of years time contact rugby will become compulsory at school. I'm English and so probably lacking the rugby gene, but I'm not at all keen on the prospect of my sporty but slender son being tackled by boys probably twice his girth. Should we have a say in whether our children have to do the more dangerous sports such as rugby at school, or am I being an overprotective mum? Personally I would opt for him to do football over rugby. I'd be interested to know your thoughts!

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