Neil Danns is a world champion skateboarder and uses his inspirational sporting journey to inspire others as an Athlete Mentor for Sky Sports Living for Sport, a free secondary school initiative delivered in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust. This month Neil is fronting a campaign for Sky Sports Living for Sport to show students how they can harness a hunger to achieve and refuse to let disadvantages in life hold them back.
The ability to set goals and understand the steps necessary to achieve them is a key skill for secondary school students looking to succeed in life and work. Whether it’s encouraging pupils to discover the desire to improve, to follow their dreams or to learn from their mistakes, having dreams and ambitions can turn young people’s lives around.
It was a skill I learned from a young age growing up in the tough Toxteth area of Liverpool during the 1970s and 1980s. My skateboarding career began by accident when I was on a school trip to Liverpool museum aged 14 and saw a performance by American skateboard team, Hobie. My family didn’t have much money, but I was determined to learn the sport so I built a skateboard from a plank of wood and my sister’s roller boots!