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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

D94ccm Fri 06-Sep-13 11:47:07

Regarding the Xbox comment from sirraymond:

If you want to stop your children from playing the Xbox and then play more sport their is something you can do.

Limit the amount of time you let them play the Xbox and then either take them to the park and play some sport with them or take them to a club.

Getting kids involved in sport and off the Xbox is not the sole responsibility of a school or club.

It's called good parenting.

FlyMetotheMoon0 Fri 06-Sep-13 11:53:31

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

QuintessentialOldDear Fri 06-Sep-13 11:59:20

I have only ONE question for David (though it looks like more than one):

How can we inspire non-football mad kids to become as fit and active as football mad children?

It seems to me that football is such a passion, kids who play do so all their free time, and gain massively in terms of fitness stamina and confidence.
The talented kids become good so quickly, it is off putting to those who just likes to dabble a little as they feel so inferior.

How can we encourage the dabblers to get as much joy from it from the dribblers? How can we get coaches to also inspire the less talented and give from their time to these children also?

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Fri 06-Sep-13 12:03:24

Hello David,

I wonder whether the popularity of football in the UK is part of the reason why a lot of boys don't think they're good at sport. My two ds are lucky in that they play football, rugby and cricket but a lot of their friends only play football. This is because that's the sport their dads prefer. Once they get to 11 and haven't been picked up by an academy they think they're rubbish (and they're the ones who felt good enough at football not to give up on it sooner!) This is a shame because football isn't for everyone and there are lots of brilliant sports out there these boys may excel at. Rugby famously has a position suitable for every boy in the classroom and I've seen boys who felt humilated on the football pitch beam with pride when they've scored a brilliant try on the rugby pitch.

I also have quite strong views on premiership academies but I realise I have to limit my questions. All I'll say is that I've seen very young children chewed and spat out by these places, hence I decided against my five year old son taking a place at a premiership club.

QuintessentialOldDear Fri 06-Sep-13 13:46:54

In relation to what JustGiveMeFiveMinutes just said, I concur. My oldest son was playing for a local small club for children. It was fiercely competitive, even at such a young age. The coaches were even muttering "I hope no more no-hopers join the club as then we wont win the series, if we are going to let more kids have a go on the field enjoying equal time on the stars will never get enough time on to put those goals in ..." Age 7! That is when I took my son out of the club.

MrsCampbellBlack Fri 06-Sep-13 14:14:47


I wonder how you think that things can be made 'fairer' for summer born children who are often overlooked for team selection even from a young age as they're often physically smaller than their peers?

I've observed my own august born son being overlooked for matches and then he falls behind as is not off developing rugby skills but rather doing whatever with the children left behind.

This then tends to put him off 'games' as a whole which I feel is a great shame but the downside of a very rugby focused school


LegoDragon Fri 06-Sep-13 17:40:10

Oh my God, David Beckham!

DD1 loves you hmm (She's only young, btw!) anyway, she loves football. Really really loves it. She is currently in the state's (we aren't in the UK- although my DDs were born at the same hospital you were and we lived there until a bit ago!) football/soccer team (although where we are, it's less important)team for girls. Where we are it's underrated (the focus is on traditional polar sports due to our area- great as skills are being lost, but not for those who are lost because it's a whole new world!) and she keeps getting diesncouraged- I hate football (sorry!) but she loves doing it and says she does, but she gets days when she just doesn't want to do it anymore because there's nothing to do at home with football. Have you got any fun football games- we do the club practice and go to the state team of course but I'd like to get ideas for fun ideas so that she doesn't feel a bit out of the loop- our remote area means that she is far apart from where most of the other kids live so doesn't get to see them much otherwise.

Retropear Fri 06-Sep-13 18:33:01

2 questions kind of interlinked on a subject I've seen crop up several times on MN.

Do you think schools could do more to inspire children not particularly able at PE and do you think schools put too much emphasis on team sports and not enough on individual sports?Should schools be putting more emphasis on helping and encouraging children to enjoy physical exercise for themselves as part of a life long healthy lifestyle instead of achieving glory as part of a team or during sports day?

As the mother of 3 mini geeky Buttercats who hate PE lessons(actually dire at football,netball etc) but adore cycling,hiking and swimming out of school is there anything we could do to help them enjoy school PE lessons more?

Also having experienced both how does PE provision differ in the US to the UK,do they encourage individual sport and fitness more?

JammyDodger1 Fri 06-Sep-13 20:15:54

dd1 typed a question in but then cancelled saying that football is for boys and not girls,
her question was how do you cope with rejection, what is the point in carrying on doing football when everyone else better than me?

Dadulthood Fri 06-Sep-13 20:32:11

My 5yr old daughter has lots of initial enthusiasm for sports. While I’ll be doing everything I can to encourage her, kids like to fit in with their friends and the more female role models there are, the more likely it is that her and her classmates will all continue to participate...
That relies on not only the existence of inspirational female athletes, but also on there being significant media & advertising coverage of them. As someone on the inside of sport, with vast experience of sponsorship deals and close to the media, it would be great to hear from David on whether there’s any realistic chance of women’s sport getting more coverage in the coming years and whether media/sponsorship attention is ever likely to be significant for exceptional female athletes who don’t also happen to have film-star looks.

[In August Lara Prior-Palmer become the first Briton, first female and youngest person ever to win the world's longest horse race (1000km Mongol Derby, raced on semi-wild horses … it’s like something out of The Hunger Games). An incredible achievement, but didn’t register much in the UK media… I’m pretty sure there would have been more coverage if she looked like Jess Ennis or Victoria Pendleton!]

bagism Fri 06-Sep-13 20:34:23

Hello David Beckham.
My question to you is, how do you get a group of boys aged 6+ to pass the football to my daughter(aged 7) when they're doing 5 aside at school. She's keen to play football(her cousin plays for the girls team in macclesfield so very inspired by her).
They just do not pass the ball! It seems like a shame when she's so good at aiming a ball where it needs to go.(i'm sure there's more to it than than aiming a ball but i'm not sure how to help)!

stiffstink Fri 06-Sep-13 22:46:54

I'm really interested in this webchat because I want to encourage sporting interests but football no longer suggests a sense of "fair play" to me. This might be because you'd expect name calling, spitting and biting in frustrated three year olds, not millionaires.

Do you think that football being seen as a high paying career/celebrity status has been to the detriment of football playing as a source of personal/national pride in the role?

NannyKaren Fri 06-Sep-13 22:48:13

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

Pizzahutlover Fri 06-Sep-13 22:53:59

My question to you is what do you and your wife like doing as a family with kids naturally and whats your and your wifes favorite food. I like eating as healthy as possible ignore user name smile but interested to know what your family enjoy and what you all like eating etc. Noticed noone on here has asked any questions about anything that interests you other then football and cant really mention school as my child just started not really football fan but loved pe at school anyway thank you for taking time out to read it and will be interested in your response. Have to say the other poster that said will you marry me was very funny. He is already married but sure he hears that all the time anyway nothing new anyway thanks

HappyZJJ Fri 06-Sep-13 22:55:42

Hey David,

My son(s) admire you like many. But my question is my son Jensen has only been training in football for 3 months and has passed trials for Reading FC aged 6. Whilst this is lovely what you recommend for him to continue in his success as I don't want him being led into disappointment after being built up so much already by coaches who have watched him? Bristol City want to look at him too now should we stick with Reading? Also, can my sons meet you lol?

Arachnophobic Sat 07-Sep-13 00:12:19

Hi David, my son is 5 and has been going to gymnastics since he was walking, he has just been selected to train with what they call at the club the "elite squad" with a view to competing when he is 8. At the moment they want him to train 5 hours a week though at this age I think half that is enough, what's your view, and how do I balance encouraging him without being too pushy?

aibuaiwo Sat 07-Sep-13 08:06:54

Hallo David, I am a 11 year year old, madly keen football player based with my family in Beijing. I know you often come to China now you are the Chinese Soccer Ambassador - next time you come to China, would you come and see our girls' team play and give us some advice and coaching to improve our game? Our whole team would love to meet you. Aimei

CoolStoryBro Sat 07-Sep-13 14:36:30

Hello David! Whenever you are papped watching your kids play sport, you always look as if you're really enjoying it. How do you do that?!! I'm typing this from the side of an (American) football field watching my boys play and....I'm bored senseless.

Do you fake it or am I just a terrible parent?!!! grin

Retropear Sat 07-Sep-13 15:30:15

Cool grin

Tis particularly scintillating if your kid spends the whole time on the bench.sad

< I send dp>

bountyicecream Sat 07-Sep-13 17:24:15

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?

HormonalHousewife Sat 07-Sep-13 18:07:32

Hi David,

I volunteer each week with riding for the disabled and the kids all enjoy their sessions.

Riding is a fantastic way for children to develop muscles that may not be 'useable' in their day to day life, it strengthens core body strength as well as giving the child a sense of achievement.

You are a household name and your fans around the world love you. How do you feel you manage to inspire and nurture new talent and do you have any tips on how a 40 something old could bring a bit of your enthusiasm into my sport riding ?


MiaSparrow Sat 07-Sep-13 22:52:20

Hello David

I remember being humiliated in school when they made the girls play the boys at football having never had a lesson. (The boys had to play netball, but they completely ignored the rules and just shot hoops instead hmm).

How have things changed for girls? And will little Harper be getting a pair of football boots any time soon?

TheMancunianWay Sun 08-Sep-13 09:42:57

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

Blondeorbrunette Sun 08-Sep-13 15:46:34

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

SameAsYou Sun 08-Sep-13 17:28:05

I agree with a poster up above, our school is very sporty - the typical chat in the playground is that 'oh you're not in favour if your not in the A or B team'! I feel these are decided early on in their younger years at school. My son would always have been in the C team (if there was one). Its unfair and what can we do?

In past years he has not been so natural until very recently he has developed a love of football and has been appointed as GoalKeeper for his local club (apparently showing promise - not sure why it has all of a sudden just shown!) I know you are not a GoalKeeper but any ideas on why it may have just shown itself?

I would welcome any inspirational tips/quotes for him, that you may have had in conversation with any Goalies in your career. He is very nearly 8 years old.

PS - I share the same birthday as Brooklyn!

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