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08 November 2015


Rugby legends Lewis Moody and Maggie Alphonsi were in London with SportsAid to mentor 25 rising stars from 14 sports who are all members of the Jaguar Land Rover Academy of Sport.

Olympians Keri-Anne Payne, Sharron Davies and Bryan Steel and Paralympian Danny Crates were also on hand to pass on the benefits of their experiences in swimming, cycling and athletics. Both Lewis and Maggie spoke of the value of mentoring in their careers in a Q&A panel session with legendary host John Inverdale.

Lewis said, "I needed mentors like anyone else. I was very lucky at a young age because there were a lot of coaches who pushed me in the right direction."

Maggie expressed regret at not having more opportunities to meet mentors early in her career, but said former Olympic champion Denise Lewis was a big inspiration for her.

"I looked at her as being my role model when I was growing up, when I wanted to learn what it takes to become a top athlete," she said.

17-year-old rugby player Lewis Wilson from York, who plays in the back row for Yorkshire Carnegie Academy, said meeting Lewis Moody was the highlight of the day - which also included sessions on nutrition and how to promote yourself in the media.

"Chatting to Lewis Moody was really inspiring as he plays in the same position as me and was also a team captain. Especially with it being a World Cup year. It was really nice to be able to learn a few things from him and I hope to catch up with him again soon."

The workshop was the first of three annual workshops to take place to mentor and educate both athletes and parents on various subjects including nutrition, sponsorship to social media usage, to support them on their future sporting career.

For more details, please follow #JLRAcademy on Twitter.