Developing young people through sport with Vitality SportFest 2016

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Up to 2,000 people, including families and sports professionals came together over the weekend of 30th and 31st July for the 2016 Vitality SportFest. Founded by former England Rugby World Cup Champion Will Greenwood, Vitality SportFest is the UK’s ultimate family sports festival and provides the opportunity to enjoy a weekend of world-class coaching, self-development and family fun. Thomas were proud sponsors of this year's event, joining a host of passionate sponsors and sporting legends to help provide an unforgettable weekend.

Vitality SportFest is special because it provides young people with unique opportunities to try new sports and develop new skills, all whilst being inspired by sporting legends and expert coaches. Teamwork, participation and self-awareness were top of the agenda during the weekend, with plenty of opportunities for children and parents to get involved in a range of activities. The event encourages inclusion and participation, no matter what a person’s age, ability or experience may be.

As sponsors, we joined the likes of former England footballer John Barnes, Olympic legend Daley Thompson, cricketing hero Andrew Strauss and London 2012 Olympic medal winning gymnast Beth Tweddle amongst many others, in providing children and parents with a range of sporting activities. We had the opportunity to meet over 500 young people to help kick-start their journey of self-awareness whether that be through their passion for sport, hunger for education or drive for future career success.

At Thomas, we are passionate about changing lives by providing people with an understanding of their behaviours, motivators and communication style. Through our sponsorship of Vitality SportFest, we had the opportunity to provide unique guidance to parents and young people, in addition to the physical side of activity being offered by Vitality and the sporting legends.

We’re passionate about changing people’s lives, whether you’re a kid in school, a high level athlete or whether you’re in business.

Amir Qureshi, COO, Thomas International

In line with our commitment to corporate social responsibility and supporting young people in the community, we were pleased to be able to offer complimentary behavioural profiling over the course of the weekend. We profiled young people, parents and the sporting legends themselves using our Personal Profile Analysis (PPA) to give them a snapshot of their behavioural preferences – the first step in developing self-awareness. The children were immediately able to put this newly acquired knowledge of themselves into action during the coaching sessions, as they engaged with new sports that required teamwork, communication skills and discipline. It was inspiring to see so many young people developing their skills and making self-improvements through sport.

Whether you’re 5 or 65, I don’t think it’s ever too late to learn about yourself to allow you to then make informed decisions about what you will do in the future.

Will Greenwood, Our Legend

Joining the Legends team for the event were our very own Thomas legends, Derek Redmond and Naomi Riches. Derek joined Gavin Sunshine and Daley Thompson on the running track to provide athletics and fitness coaching, whilst Naomi ran the Thomas rowing zone ‘beat a champion’ challenge. With three age categories competing across three different distances, we were delighted to be able to present our 5-9 and 10-16 age group champions with the prize of having either Naomi or Derek visit their school to give an inspirational talk, whilst our adult age category received a free Thomas Engage as a prize, allowing them to run a health check on their organisation’s levels of engagement.

Former World Number 1 tennis player Billie Jean King once said that “self-awareness is probably the most important thing towards becoming a champion.” Here at Thomas, we believe that anyone can be a champion, and are committed to giving young people the tools they need to reach their potential, whatever their future goals may be.

Watch our Vitality SportFest Thomas highlights video to see what we got up to over the course of the weekend.

Ciaran Morton

Ciaran Morton

As an experienced international executive, Ciaran joined Thomas in 2016 as UK MD. Ciaran is responsible for Sales, Operations, Client Services and Performance within the UK, which now also includes Thomas Sport & Education. When not at work he’s a family man, rugby referee, dog walker and music enthusiast.