A Christmas reflection - preparing our children for life

Christmas is a wonderful time of year where we share time and gifts with family and reconnect with old friends.

December 2014

It’s also a great time to reset our moral compass, reflect on our journey through life, and maybe remember those fantastic summer evenings and weekends where we had fun playing games. School presented endless opportunities to participate in games and sport, no matter how good you were, as well as being educated by people who had a key influence on us as we grew up.

One of those who influenced me most was my old PE teacher Jimmy Hogg. He taught thousands of pupils vital life lessons. I remember the character building at Bellshill YMCA, learning about community, teamwork, discipline, respect and values, however, it was really my parents and grandparents who were the key influencers in my life.

Little did I realise they were all teaching, coaching and parenting me in preparation for life. Indeed, it was those lessons which taught me the relentless effort and confidence I would require to progress from the shop floor to managing a blue chip electronics company and to coach thousands of young people in athletics including a few world class athletes.

It was also those key influencers who shaped the latest stage in my journey, and influenced me to give something back to society and young people. A society where priorities have changed precariously towards materialism and everyone is under pressure to produce outcomes when we know from experience it is the process of development which shapes who we are, how we act and what we achieve in life.

Yes, this Christmas I believe the greatest gift I can give my children is to ensure they have the opportunities to have fun, play games and learn life lessons through sport as I did as a child.

I believe that through the work we do at Winning Scotland Foundation we can help ensure more young people are successful in life. Programmes like Positive Coaching helps educate the key influencers in the young person’s life, Champions in Schools communicates learning and key messages and working with education to develop growth mindsets in young people will help influence a growth mindset culture in schools and in society and in a small way we can help young people become the very best they can be in sport and in life!

Wishing everyone a very merry Christmas and healthy and happy 2015.


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