I currently write this, whilst waiting outside a bustling sports hall in Oxford while parents, children and teachers gather for their final sports awards ceremony. I’m reflecting on another year as being an athlete mentor. Being here makes me think back to when I first started out on my journey to becoming a mentor.
It was a particular event in Manchester where I was assigned a bunch of up-and-coming triathletes. Although at the time, I knew nothing about this sport, I’ve gone on to represent my country at age group level and have also become national champion twice. My triathlon level 2 coaching qualification has also led me to run Tri camps abroad. This original group were very focused and a pleasure to work with and I particularly remember running a goal-setting session where a very young Gordon Benso set his target to go to the Olympic Games. I remember this as he was the only one in the group who was bold enough to go for this goal of goals. It’s important to aim high and with that, I will now look forward to watching him alongside the Brownlee brothers competing in the Rio Olympics. Mission complete, goal achieved & job done.
Mentors, teachers and parents should never underestimate how much a small spark from a word said, a picture viewed or a video shown of a medal held can be the catalyst for those who could eventually fulfil that goal of their potential being met.