Raising aspirations through sport
Established in 2003, our secondary schools initiative, Sky Sports Living for Sport makes it easy for teachers to inspire and motivate young people through sport.
After schools register and select a target group of students, we provide free online project planning resources, T-shirts and two visits from professional Athlete Mentors. The students set goals for themselves, take part in a series of teacher-led sports activities, then plan and lead their own sports event putting their new skills into practice.
Research has shown the project leads to lasting positive behaviour change as well as positive outcomes for the wider school in terms of engagement and student-teacher relationships. Teachers have told us that the focused sports activities, the Athlete Mentor visits and the involvement of the Sky Sports brand motivates their students, inspiring them to succeed, both on and off the playing field.
Inspired by Athlete Mentors
Our 75 Athlete Mentors have all competed at an elite level and represent a fantastic variety of sports including hockey, judo, wheelchair basketball, archery and skateboarding. Some are actively competing and some are retired; their experiences include the Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games as well as World and European Championships.
We offer every school two mentoring visits from our team of sport stars who visit schools at the start of the project and when they have completed it to share their life-changing stories and inspire young people to fulfil their potential. They introduce the British Athletes Commission’s ‘Six Keys to Success’ which includes tips and skills that can support young people in their school life as well as in sport.
Sky Sports also creates extra opportunities for participating schools with masterclasses by sporting greats. This year Gary Neville, Manchester United’s former club captain, delivered a footballing masterclass to his local school, and Olympic GB boxer Natasha Jonas ran an unforgettable PE lesson.
2012 was a fantastic year for Sky Sports Living for Sport. We had 866 schools take part, our highest ever, and they ran over 1,000 projects meaning we have now helped over 50,000 young people across the UK with over 80% of participants showing improvements in self-confidence and attitudes towards learning.
To celebrate the students’ achievements, we hosted our 2011 Sky Sports Living for Sport Awards at Wembley inviting our 12 regional winners to watch their Sky Sports video case studies and collect their awards from Darren Campbell, former Olympic gold medallist, and Kirsty Gallacher, Sky Sports presenter. Our overall student winner was Nick Wood, who found inspiration from his boxing Athlete Mentor Dermot Gascoyne, former international heavy weight boxer.
Our next steps
We want to continue to make Sky Sports Living for Sport bigger and better, to reach more UK secondary schools than ever before, and plan to run a pilot project launching Sky Sports Living for Sport in Ireland.
Read more about what we do at www.skysports.com/livingforsport