It’s been a busy few weeks filled with adventures and inspiration. I spent two weeks after Easter out in Slovenia with a team of 13/14 yr olds with True Adventure. We went trekking, helped the rangers in the Trigalav National Park, went white water rafting and cycling and explored cities and castles. The students were in charge of organising the group, the budget and the food. This trip reminded me why I love working with young people. Over the 14 days I watched them learn to work together as a team. Some of them have cooked for the first time and while initially I might have missed the days of rehydrated beef curry, now I would (almost) happily be catered for by them every day. For a lot of them it was the first time they had to be independent and it’s great to see them have their first taste of adventure. They asked me about the row a lot and it’s fun to share stories and to show how the things they learned on this expedition will stand them in good stead whatever they choose to do in the future.
Over the last two days I have been lucky enough to have been inspired by the team, athletes and young people from the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust at their annual team days. The charity uses world class athletes to mentor and inspire young people through their programs to develop five key attributes, focus, resilience, motivation, confidence and determination. Their work enriches the lives of both the young people faced with disadvantage and the athletes. During the two days the different regions around the country celebrated the achievements of the last year and were pitted against each other in fiercely competitive outdoor and indoor activities. Workshops also enabled the athletes, young people and partners of the trust to brainstorm ways to improve on the incredible impact the Trust has. I will be joining the Giveback team of athletes and am looking forward to learning more about the programs themselves. Needless to say I felt a little bit of a fraud surrounded by so many elite athletes but despite arriving on Monday morning knowing nobody I was welcomed into the extended family who like our family out on the ocean all share key values and a vision of what they want to achieve.
On Thursday I am off to St Pirans School to speak to them about the row and our values of SPIRIT. I am passionate about passing on the lessons of the row to young people and have a number of schools talks lined up. If your school is interested in a motivational speaker then get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.