ON BEHALF of the Youth Sport Trust and Sky Sports Living for Sport I would like to extend my thanks to the inspirational pupils and teachers who welcomed me so warmly at Rhymney Comprehensive School in Tredegar last week.

The vision and commitment of the teachers was plain to see and it was wonderful to witness the energy and enthusiasm of all the pupils I met. They were keen to share their experiences and insights from their Sky Sports Living for Sport project – it was fantastic to see the power of sport in improving young lives in action! In my role as an Athlete Mentor for Sky Sports Living for Sport, which is delivered in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust, I strive to inspire young people to be the best that they can be across all areas of their lives.

I use a variety of sporting activities to get the students involved and active. I also shared my own journey as a professional sports person with the pupils at Rhymney Comprehensive and told them about the challenges I faced and overcame to excel in my sport. I encouraged them to draw on the British Athletes Commission’s ‘Six Keys to Success’ which include mental toughness, hunger to achieve and planning for success. I asked the pupils to think about the many skills and lessons you learn through participating in sport and how these can be applied to help them achieve all their life goals.

The young people I met on this visit were a credit to Rhymney and, as is so often the case in this job, I came away from the school feeling incredibly inspired myself.

Different sports inspire different people but one thing is certain, there’s a sport for everyone and finding it can be life changing. I hope that I have encouraged the pupils at Rhymney Comprehensive find their sport, walk tall, aim high and stay focused on reaching all their goals in life.

Vernon Samuels Great Britain triple-jumper