Former Great Britain and England Rugby League player Paul Broadbent visited Sport students at Barnsley College to talk about the motivation, resilience and commitment needed to become an elite athlete.
Paul is the College’s athlete mentor and he came to the College as an inspirational speaker to talk to current Sport students about his career in rugby, giving an insight into coaching and working with different types of athletes at different levels. The students also took the opportunity to ask Paul questions related to dealing with pressure, professionalism and how athletes conduct themselves in the public eye.
Paul said: “Every single one of the students in this room has a success story but it’s up to them whether they unravel it or not. At this age they are still moulding themselves into the person they want to be for the rest of their lives and if I can provide a little bit of guidance and a little bit of support then they won’t work it out by making mistakes first.
“My job, as a mentor, is to try and let them see how relatable I am and have them find similarities so they see a bit of them in me. I like to show them that if I can do it they can too. I breakdown those beliefs that they can’t make anything of themselves because they’ve got stuff that’s challenging them in their lives.”
Rhys Stacey, a Level 3 Sports student, added: “I love hearing inspirational stories like Paul’s, it encourages me to do well in my studies at College and shows that anything is possible when you put your mind to it.”
Kalam Neale, Curriculum Leader for Sport, said: “It was great to have Paul in to come and talk to the students as it provided a great insight into professional sport, the lifestyle factors that comes with that and the sacrifices he’s had to make. Paul also talked about the transition from professional sport to retirement and secondary careers which I feel has provided motivation to students who are wanting to get into careers in sport.”