Ask Thierry Henry your confidence related questions ahead of his Sky Academy Confidence Month event - £250 Love2Shop voucher to be won NOW CLOSED

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AngelieMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 28-Sep-15 11:26:21

UPDATE on 22nd October: We're now offering MNers the chance to ask their confidence related questions to former football superstar Thierry Henry. Thierry is hosting a Sky Sports Living For Sport day on Tuesday 27th October. Post your questions for Thierry here before midnight on Monday 26th October. We will then post a link to his answers in November.


Davina McCall, Jessica Ennis-Hill CBE and Thierry Henry are supporting Sky Academy - a set of initiatives run by Sky that use the power of TV, creativity and sport to help young people unlock their potential.

Sky Academy has recently launched a Confidence Month in a bid to highlight the importance of confidence in young people's development. As part of the campaign, Sky is showcasing its five Sky Academy initiatives which each aim to build practical skills, experience and confidence, with the aim of helping one million young people by 2020.

To celebrate Sky Academy's Confidence Month, we're offering MNers a chance to post questions for Davina and Jessica, themed around confidence, whether that's confidence in your DC's life or confidence issues Davina and Jessica may have faced in their careers. You have until midnight this Wednesday 30th September to post your questions for Davina and until midnight Tuesday 20th October, see below for further details.

The initiatives - Sky Sports Living for Sport, Sky Academy Skills Studios, Sky Academy Careers Lab, Sky Academy Starting Out and Sky Academy Scholarships - harness Sky's strengths in media and technology, as well as the passion and expertise of its well-known faces and people.

- Sky Sports Living for Sport is made up of multi-week and one-day sports projects with schools throughout the UK and Ireland. Founded on the belief that sport has the power to transform young people's lives, the initiative aims to help young people build practical skills and self-confidence.
- Sky Academy Skills Studios is an interactive learning experience giving eight to 18-year-olds the chance to use the latest broadcast technology to make a TV report on subjects they are studying at school. It combines a behind-the-scenes tour at Sky's offices with a hands-on experience of its purpose-built studios where the students write, produce and direct their own short news bulletin.
- Sky Academy Careers Lab is a full-day careers experience giving 16 to 19 year-olds the chance to take part in practical workplace challenges and learn about careers in media, business and technology.
- Sky Academy Starting Out opens up Sky to young people, offering experience and employment opportunities to help them prepare for the world of work.
- Sky Academy Scholarships is a bursary scheme that supports some of the most exciting emerging talent in the worlds of sport and the arts. As well as financial backing, the scholarships provide assistance and mentoring from Sky's staff and other experts.

For more information on Sky Academy, visit or follow Sky Academy on Twitter @SkyAcademy

Davina will be attending Sky Academy Careers Lab on Thursday 1st October and Jessica will be hosting a Sky Academy Confidence Day on Thursday 22nd October. Post your questions to Davina here before midnight on Wednesday 30th September and Jessica before midnight on Tuesday 20th October and we will send 20 questions for them to respond to. We will then post a link to Davina's responses back on the thread on 19th October and a link to Jessica's answers on 9th November.

Everyone who adds a question (regardless of whether it's answered or not) will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £250 Love2Shop voucher.

This Q&A is sponsored by Sky.


OP’s posts: |
TrollTheRespawnJeremy Mon 28-Sep-15 17:43:29

I think it's a great idea and that schools should be bombarded with as many workshops and 'different thinking' initiatives as possible to broaden minds and opportunities.

It's such a complex and difficult issue to tackle.

Short-term- these events are helpful and interesting. Is there a long term strategy for localised 'Sky Academies' to work alongside schools or something similar?

A local presence with youth organisations etc is definitely something that would make me look more favourably at a business.

jonicomelately Mon 28-Sep-15 18:36:09

I would like to ask Jessica what is the best way to counter the continuing obsession with making childrens' sport very serious at a young age? I don't know what happens in the athletics world but I know a lot of sports seem to have academies, centres of excellence, schools for the talented and gifted at younger and younger ages. All this seems to do is give children who are selected (and their parents) an initial sense that they are destined for fame and greatness (this expectation can later on overwhelm them), whilst crushing the spirit of the majority who aren't selected.

I think this trend in youth sport is hugely damaging to children confidence. I don't like to think of a single child giving up a sport because they haven't made it onto a special programme, but I know that some do exactly that. I think this is a major problem in sport and may explain why participation rates are so low in the UK.

Why can't we just children enjoy sport for the sake of it, develop their skills over a long period of time and then, when they're older, those in the know can decide if they have the ability to become a professional athlete?

I'd be really interested in your thoughts Jess.

ThomasRichard Tue 29-Sep-15 00:14:29

How do you combat the media's attempts to objectify you?

purplepandas Tue 29-Sep-15 05:47:42

DD2 really struggles with self confidence issues (age 6). What small things can I do in her everyday life to help her to develop her belief in her own abilities and worth?

Alanna1 Tue 29-Sep-15 13:30:49

I would ask
(1) How could they (and/or Sky) work with schools to foster games which both encourage winning (competition can be important in life, as is learning you don't always come first) and also participation (because not every child will always win). I'm amazed at how many primary school's "sports days'" are largely only first across the line, and rarely either 5 or 6 people team-based which can spread skills, or non-winning games (duck duck goose and in and out the dusty bluebells being rare exceptions; football being quite a good playground one). Children love the variety. I have a confident DC who is a little bit disabled but sits around the middle of her peer-group because of the sheer amount of dedicated physio and exercise we do. Yet she is disheartened by standard sports days because she can't compete in that way.
(2) How could Sky especially build drama and acting opportunities, which really help self-confidence, especially with the rise of smartphones and easily accessible video, at a younger age (nursery/primary). All the children I know love watching themselves when I video them. Can Sky have competitions that use this?

Lulabellx1 Tue 29-Sep-15 14:22:27

At what level are the scholarships being offered? Is it higher education or degree level? I work at a university and we are always interested in potential funding that may help our students.


raindaisy Tue 29-Sep-15 15:15:56

I have a young teen, he has confidence but it's a very quiet one he mixes with everyone but he isn't one to stand up and speak. I worry that this lack of being outspoken in any form will hinder him later when he has to move on to college. He has been in a special group within school to try booster his confidence which it has a bit but now in year 10 it's stopped. What can I do to help. He is very much like how I was at that age and it does worry me now. I've tried to get him involved in groups activities but he just isn't interested. I'm at a loss now. Please any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you

MakeTeaNotWar Tue 29-Sep-15 15:49:01

My children are still small - 5 and 2 - but already I see fear that they can't do certain things. How can I lead by example, what kind of phrases or language should I use to encourage / reinforce confident behaviour?

hermancakedestroyer Tue 29-Sep-15 17:04:34

Sounds like a great program of events. Any initiative to boost children's self esteem and encourage them to participate in sporting activities is brilliant.
I would like to know where you can find more information about the sky scholarships out? It sounds really good.
Also how do schools find out about the sky academy?
It sounds great ladies - keep up the good work and being great role models to our young people.

sharond101 Tue 29-Sep-15 17:49:57

How do you learn to love your body, lumps, bumps and all?

InAndOfMyself Tue 29-Sep-15 20:59:19

I grew up with a severe lack of confidence, was bullied, and it was crippling. How to best support the children who don't fit neatly into boxes? How can we prevent them being othered?

Hopezibah Tue 29-Sep-15 21:25:33

I'd like to know how to get over a lifelong lack of self confidence in yourself to be able to be a good role model for the kids.

Whatever I achieve, however brilliant, i still feel lacking and like i am not good enough.

I believe that my kids can achieve anything they want to and yet I don't have that same belief for myself.

del2929 Tue 29-Sep-15 22:49:38

how can you instill confidence in young children who you know are capable of achieveing so much yet hold back due to confidence issues?

HappyMum4 Wed 30-Sep-15 12:37:07

My eldest daughter (12years) has everything going for her, she's kind, loving, thoughtful, beautiful, clever, sporty - but she has crippling confidence issues and doesn't see any of the above in herself. She doesn't shine as a result, sits quietly and doesn't put herself forward and as a result, her efforts go unnoticed and unrewarded. More confident, less able children are picked for things as the teachers "see" them. I feel like I am the only one who "sees" my daughter. I don't want her to end up the same as me, I was exactly the same at her age and have indeed become the adult version of that, as a result making friends/relationships is extremely hard and I have failed in many areas due to low self-esteem. How can I put her on the right track and help her see the true her and get her to truly believe in herself?? I couldn't and I don't know how to break the cycle. Please could you offer any advice.

MerryMarigold Wed 30-Sep-15 14:23:08

I would ask both. What did your parents do which helped your confidence?

CheeseEMouse Wed 30-Sep-15 15:12:51

Merrymarigold has just had the same thought I did!

Instead, do you ever suffer self doubt, or "imposter syndrome" and how do you deal with it now?

gazzalw Wed 30-Sep-15 19:01:58

Is it possible to instil confidence in one's children if one doesn't have it oneself?

BrandNewAndImproved Wed 30-Sep-15 20:06:58

My dc do a wide variety of sports and this has really increased there confidence as they are naturally sporty. Achieving through sport is a great confidence booster. What do you think of the everyone's a winner mentality that sport days now do. Surely it's a good way for dc who aren't as studious as some of their peers to get an award. Giving them to everyone surely takes away from the winner. Could this be why dc who later on carry on with sport when they're older give up?

MerryMarigold Wed 30-Sep-15 20:54:20

BrandNew, I would agree with you except that there are no 'awards' for Literacy or Spelling or Science or Maths (not in our schools anyway, and I've experienced 3 Primaries). Perhaps in secondary but definitely not Primary, so why should there be awards for the best at Sports? They all tend to know who is good at what, and there's a lot of playground cudos for the Sportiest. For those kids who don't really excel at anything, I think awards just push down their already low confidence.

BrandNewAndImproved Wed 30-Sep-15 21:09:42

merry my dc primary has awards and competitions for times table champion, spelling bees ect and who hands in every piece of homework through out the year. There are various more and they also get moved up the behaviour chart for trying their best and earn extra playtime. There are plenty of awards for non sporty achievers in my dcs school and that's not unusual.

Theimpossiblegirl Wed 30-Sep-15 22:16:51

How do schools get involved with the academy? It does sound like a great idea but working in a small rural school, we often miss out on opportunities like this.

MerryMarigold Thu 01-Oct-15 09:56:46

Handing in every piece of homework and trying your best are this anyone can achieve so that's great. It's not rewarding a talent, but commitment and hard work. Fantastic!

CMOTDibbler Thu 01-Oct-15 10:01:51

How do you think we can help children feel confident in what they can achieve, without having to compare to others?

BrandNewAndImproved Thu 01-Oct-15 14:36:35

Merry it is a really good school, they have loads of sporty free after school clubs and also loads of non sporty free after school clubs like photography, art, drama, booklet , Spanish so theres something for everyone. I just hate the everyone's a winner stance on sports day.

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