Sky Sports Living For Sport Leadership Day
On Friday 15th May, we were delighted to welcome World Champion rower Toby Garbett and Olympic bronze medallist field hockey player Alex Danson into school as part of the Sky Sports Living for Sport initiative. The day was organised as a leadership training day for our Sports Captains with a brief to create a sports day event for younger students.
The initiative, which runs in partnership with The Youth Sport Trust, uses sport at school to motivate and inspire students, improving self-esteem and attitudes to health and well-being. As part of the project, Oakbank has been assigned Athlete Mentor Toby Garbett who visits the school to work with the students. Alex Danson is working with Toby as a Senior Athlete Mentor and so also spent the day with our Sports Captains.
Olympian, World Champion rower and triathlete, Toby Garbett is severely dyslexic and discovered sport as an outlet where he could focus and excel.
‘Although I played a lot of sport I had no self-belief in my capabilities. I am delighted to be an Athlete Mentor and am looking forward to bringing focus, motivation and self-belief to the students that I meet.
I hope that by passing on what I have learnt through the highs and lows of my own career, I can help students strive to accomplish more than perhaps they believe they are capable of.
This is my second visit to Oakbank and it’s been fantastic to be back today. We spent part of the day in the classroom speaking to the Sports Captains about the theory of sports leadership. We then put the theory into practice with sports activities where the students had to use communication and teamwork to succeed. It’s great to re-visit the area as it’s not far from where I grew up.’
Alex Danson is a member of the England and Great Britain women's field hockey teams. The Reading Hockey Club forward is one of the youngest ever England internationals, having made her senior debut at just 16 years of age, whilst still at school.
Alex is a former BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year nominee and has achieved 227 international caps to date (and still counting). She has competed successfully in many high profile events, taking home a bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games and most recently a silver medal in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
‘Sky Sports Living for Sport is such a rewarding initiative to work for because it really helps and inspires young people. I want to be able to share my story and hopefully pass on some advice to others – that’s a dream for me.
Today, we’ve been working with the student leadership Sports Captains, teaching leadership, communication and training skills. They’ve been fantastic all day and have taken everything on board. The younger students that will be taking part in the sports events being planned are very lucky indeed.’
What some of the Sports Captains say…