Credit to school

First published in Letters

Sir, What a truly inspirational day I had at John Mason School in Abingdon meeting the young people and teachers involved in Sky Sports Living for Sport.

My heartfelt thanks go to the many staff and pupils who welcomed me so warmly and shared their thoughts, experiences, aspirations and learnings from this initiative. It was wonderful to see what a positive impact Sky Sports Living for Sport, which uses sport stars and sport skills to improve the lives of thousands of young people, has had on pupils in John Mason School.

The pupils I met were a credit to John Mason School and were full of enthusiasm, commitment and energy. My role as an athlete mentor for Sky Sports Living for Sport, which is delivered in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust, is to inspire pupils, by drawing upon my own experiences of sport, the obstacles I overcame and the life lessons I have gleaned through sport.

As is so often the case on these visits, I came away feeling incredibly inspired myself.

During my time with the pupils at John Mason School, I encouraged them to think about the skills we learn through doing sport and how these can be applied to improve their lives. After all, sport is not just about fitness — sport helps people think, helps people listen, helps people to speak up and helps people work together.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the students for their achievements, and encourage them to keep focused on reaching their goals.

Sport is not only about talent or winning medals; it brings together all the life skills needed to succeed, including hard work, self-belief, determination and passion.

Initiatives like Sky Sports Living for Sport are about teaching young people to strive to be the best that they can be.

Toby Garbett Olympian and world champion rower and athlete mentor for Sky Sports Living for Sport

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