Sporting stars inspire at fabulous forum
Tottenham Hotspur player Jermain Defoe
and Olympic gold medallist Tessa Sanderson CBE were grilled by
youngsters as part of our Sport Youth Forum in partnership
with the Premier League and the Professional Footballers’
The sports personalities joined a panel with England and Arsenal
star player Rachel Yankey MBE alongside Olympic rowing bronze
medallist Tom Ransley. The Sport Youth Forum, which was hosted by
BBC presenters Chris Hollins and Sonali Shah, took place at West
Ham United Football Ground in front of an audience of 80 Prince’s
Trust supported young people.
The panel spoke on the theme of ‘reaching your goals through
sport’, talking about who inspired them, how to succeed when people
around you choose the wrong path and how mum’s are always right!
They gave advice and opinions to the crowd, who have all overcome
obstacles in their lives, and also heard the stories of two young
people who have changed their lives through sport.
Rachel Brown spoke confidently
about how a Get Started with Football course helped her to go from
educational underachiever to inspirational sports coach.
Jermain Defoe, took time to sign shirts and
have photos taken with the audience and said of the day; “Creating
opportunities for young people is so important at the moment. These
youngsters are all making steps to change their lives – it is very
I had a great time hearing from the young
people and I hope that I offered them all some advice which will
help them on their journeys.”
He was particularly inspired by the story of Andy Gibbon who
spoke at the event, telling him; “I’m inspired by you.”
The Prince’s Trust works with the Premier League and the PFA to
deliver its football initiative to thousands of young people across
the country. The partnership, which is currently in its 15th year,
has helped more than 20,000 young people with the support of more
than £8.5 million of funding.
Richard Scudamore, Premier League Chief Executive, said: “The
legacy of the London Olympics and Paralympics has highlighted the
power of engaging people through sport. This is something that the
Premier League and the Prince’s Trust have championed for the past
15 years. Through our partnership of The Prince’s Trust’s Football
Initiative over 20,000 young people have discovered how sport can
boost confidence, motivation and provide the essential team working
skills needed in the world of work.”
Gordon Taylor OBE, Chief Executive of the PFA, said: “The Sport
Youth Forum provided a special opportunity for the young people to
meet and speak with professional sporting stars. During our
partnership with The Prince’s Trust we have seen firsthand the
successful results of inspiring young people through sport.”
Find out more about our sport partnerships here.