November 2012

Sporting stars inspire at fabulous forum

Rachel Yankey MBE, Jermain Defoe, Tessa Sanderson CBE and Tom RansleyTottenham 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’ Association (PFA).


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.

Jermain DefoeSharing stories

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 inspiring.

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.

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