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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

SkySportsteam Tue 22-Oct-13 17:06:30


Oh my goodness, to actually think THE David Beckham may be reading this!!!

My question to you David is:

Having read the summary above written by RachelMumsNet(MNHQ), it states the Sky Sports Living for Sports reaches a third of all secondary schools but what about the other two thirds?

David, with so many impressionable young people, have eg. The Premiership, or the other Divisions, every thought of linking profession footballers to local schools? They could attend the occasional PE lesson, school sports day etc. (surely they earn enough to warrant giving something back to the community)?

It is, unfortunately, the lucky few who are able to get involved at a more indept level of competitive sport.
Having felt 'bathed' in sport last summer with the Olympics, and absolutely loving it, I feel the schools require more then the two Athlete Mentor visits which the initiative provides and hence more should be done by our local clubs.

Sorry David, I feel passionate about this.
(My youngest DS was fortunate enough to attend the DB Academy twice when he was younger and on one occasion also won a trophy... He still talks about his time there with great pride)....Thank you xXx

Even though Sky Sports Living for Sport is free to schools and very flexible, we know there are a lot of demands on teacher's time. We wouldn't expect every school to take part, but we do want to reach as many schools as we can.

We're proud to have reached one third of secondary schools in the UK and provided nearly 3,000 visits to schools by our fully trained Athlete Mentors.

This is double the number of schools we aimed for in the previous year, and means that last year alone we reached over 30,000 students.

But any school can apply to take part, and if you think your local school should get involved follow this link: to nominate them for the initiative

SkySportsteam Tue 22-Oct-13 17:04:14


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!

Sky Sports Living for Sport’s primary aim is to use sport to teach the life skills that all children, regardless of ability or experience, can benefit from. In fact many teachers use the initiative to engage children who currently think they aren’t good at sport, or those who haven’t previously enjoyed it. Our Athlete Mentors may be elite sportsmen and women but they make sure they use their stories, with all their successes and their set-backs, in a way that children can relate to their own lives, both sporting and otherwise.
Click the link to find out about Lindsay, who never expected to love sport:

SkySportsteam Tue 22-Oct-13 17:02:06


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?)

Unfortunately Sky Sports Living for Sport only support secondary schools directly at the moment but as part of the initiative we encourage students to mentor or coach younger children, or to put on events for local primary schools if appropriate.

One of our favourite facts about Sky Sports Living for Sport is that 38% of students taking part in Sky Sports Living for Sport go on to mentor a younger person.

To read how a group of students helped local primary schools children make a better move up to secondary school, click here

SkySportsteam Tue 22-Oct-13 17:00:21


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.

We believe all young people can learn and develop from the experience of taking part in sport. The initiative used to target disengaged students but based on feedback from teachers, we have made it flexible so they can tailor it to suit their students.

Now any student at any school can take part as long as they use it to achieve a goal they have agreed between themselves and their teacher. This could cover improving attendance or behaviour, but their goal could just as well to be to increase their confidence, get them more engaged with sport or help them work better as a team.

To read a case study about a young student who gained confidence against the odds, click here

HeatherMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 22-Oct-13 16:46:50

We've been asked by Sky Sports Living For Sport team to post up the following answers specifically about the initiative.

DavidBeckham Mon 21-Oct-13 15:27:28


I think we all know the question that needs to be asked here...
Is Mrs Beckham on mumsnet?
I luffs her!

That’s a good question. I don’t know, I will ask her!

DavidBeckham Mon 21-Oct-13 15:26:49


Is your biggest achievement on or off the pitch, and if so, what is it?

My biggest achievement is my family, no question. On the pitch there were quite a few but the Treble was special as was captaining my country.

DavidBeckham Mon 21-Oct-13 15:26:14


Hi David,

Most of my questions about sport have already been asked so my questions are a little off topic...

I'm very excited that you've opened a restaurant with Gordon Ramsey, I've heard that you enjoy to cook at home whenever you can - what's your favourite meal to cook for your family and why?

Also if I can sneak another question in grin I'm not sure if anyone has already asked this and you probably don't even eat biscuits but if you had to choose, what's your favourite biscuit?

Thank you thanks

Contrary to what has been written, I’m not an owner of a restaurant. I’m friends with Gordon so we chat about many things including his new restaurant ventures. I've seen it and I'm sure it will be a success.

In terms of a biscuit, I love to keep it simple, a Rich Tea for me.

DavidBeckham Mon 21-Oct-13 15:25:03


Dear Mr Beckham (sorry, but 'David' feels absurd!),

My nine year old son is passionate about sport - especially football - and talented at many of them. But winning is everything to him and I worry that his sports talent is playing into a lack of genuine self-esteem. How do you encourage a love for sport while at the same time discouraging fierce competitiveness ? Do the two have to go hand-in-hand, or is it possible to raise a good athlete who doesn't always need to win?

There is nothing wrong with wanting to win but I have also had to learn how to lose as well. The most important thing is whether you have given your best for you and your team mates, then you can always walk away with your head held high. It’s good that your son wants to be the best but he will also learn soon enough that you can’t win all the time. Sometimes that is something a person needs to learn for themselves as they grow up.

DavidBeckham Mon 21-Oct-13 15:23:24


I would like to know if you exercise as a family much? I'm a firm believer that exercise needs to be a part of your way of life rather than something you do once a week with a sports club.

Do you encourage your children to be generally active? Is it difficult when (presumably) they are unable to have free play down the park, with their friends, riding bikes etc due to the paparazzi?

I have always tried to live a normal life and do normal things with my family. My kids love to be active and I have always encouraged that without being pushing them. In LA we went hiking and bike riding a lot as a family. I think it's great to do that together.

DavidBeckham Mon 21-Oct-13 15:22:27


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.

It’s always important to set goals and milestones to reach. I was lucky to not have too many injuries in my career but when I did, I always had an objective or end game in mind when I was training. It’s important to have supportive and optimistic people around you as well which you sound like you are!

DavidBeckham Mon 21-Oct-13 15:21:31


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.

I know this is a challenge for many parents and it’s something I have always said. I think many elements play a part in encouraging children to play sport: good PE teachers, after school clubs, friends, inspiring role models, proper facilities and so on. I think the Olympics played a significant part, as well as I know many people were inspired. I would see what local clubs are in your area and see if there is a possibility of having your children to participate there.

DavidBeckham Mon 21-Oct-13 15:19:38


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?

I’m all for playing sports. My kids play a number of sports both in and outside of school. I think the issue for some schools may be the resources they have available to do those sports so that’s why they may focus on the more popular and cost-effective ones.

DavidBeckham Mon 21-Oct-13 15:14:08


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.

I think the most important thing for any child is to enjoy playing the game above anything else. I can't comment on this particular situation as I’m not there but I have always said playing the game should always be about having fun. Then if you’re good, the key is to still enjoy it but to work hard, practise and receive the right guidance.

DavidBeckham Mon 21-Oct-13 15:12:36


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?

Hi, that’s a good question. My own personal belief is that you don’t have to be sporty for your children to go on to achieve their potential in sport. I’ve known many parents that aren’t that way inclined but their kids were amazing at sport.I think what helps is that you support and show encouragement to your children if they want to play sport. I’m a big believer in children being more active. There are too many competing distractions for children so it’s not easy. I think the Olympics helped immensely in inspiring everyone to take up sport.

HeatherMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 21-Oct-13 15:08:22

Finally we have the answers from David Beckham, who apologises for the delay in getting these back to us.

mummyxtwo Mon 07-Oct-13 22:40:59

Errr.... any sign of those answers, David?

mummyxtwo Sun 29-Sep-13 20:32:20

I misread that and thought you said he would be answering them whilst he was in Asda. Took me by surprise!

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 24-Sep-13 17:45:57

Hi there -we just wanted to keep you updated on the Becks Q&A. We've had it confirmed that David has the questions and will be answering them whilst he is in Asia, so we should have them back and they'll be published soon'. Guess we can forgive him as he's at the other side of the world wink We'll keep you posted.

OneStepCloser Tue 17-Sep-13 18:30:30

I could go and pick them up? <ever hopeful grin>

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 17-Sep-13 16:53:34

Hi all, sorry for the delay. David has the questions and we've been told we’ll get his answers back in the next day or so. We'll keep you posted.

OneStepCloser Wed 11-Sep-13 12:40:58

Shame sad grin

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 11-Sep-13 11:33:58


Would you like me to deliver the questions is person Rachel? <helpful>

Not sure you should trust the post.

Oh yes, I went along to Beckingham Towers yesterday and was invited in for tea to talk through the answers with Dave (I wish wink) They have been sent over though so it's a nice thought that DB may be mulling over an answer to your question at this very moment smile

OneStepCloser Wed 11-Sep-13 10:38:39

Would you like me to deliver the questions is person Rachel? <helpful>

Not sure you should trust the post.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 09-Sep-13 12:11:28

The Q&A is now closed. We'll be selecting ten Qs to send over to Goldenballs Mr Beckham later today and then post up his answers next Monday (16 September). Thanks to everyone who sent in questions.

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