Support through Sport UK's Helen Barratt caught up with athletics legend and former Javelin World Record Holder Steve Backley OBE.
Thank you so much for agreeing to talk to us Steve.
Support through Sport UK believes that sport has the power to improve lives. It's clear that you also believe in the power of sport to help people succeed. So what do you think are the main benefits of getting into sport?
I think there are many and they are diverse. The benefits range from physical to psychological to sociological. The physical is fairly obvious in terms of the health benefits from activity - heart, lungs, body tissue composition and skill. The psychological benefits come in terms of personal development in organisational skills, discipline, focus, significance and planning, to name a few. And then the sociological benefits can be seen in relationship forming, communication skills and social awareness.
What do you think is enjoyable about sport in general, whether you compete individually or as part of a team?
A sense of purpose and a focus that elaborates on the play we enjoyed as kids.
In an interview you gave last summer, you mentioned that your grandmother took up bowls at a late age. At Support through Sport UK we think you're never too old to try a new sport, what do you think?
Agree! Age is not a factor and in many ways ability isn't either. It's all about aspiration.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about trying a new sport?
Keep an open mind and be patient. Dream big and look for some easy wins. Most importantly have fun!
You suffered with injury during your career. How did you motivate yourself to get back to your best? What made you get through the painful periods of rehabilitation?
I always found that I was most motivated when I was hurt. That was easy but frustrating too.
And looking at the highs of your career now, what inspired you to succeed?
My dad was a huge inspiration in his manner and his can do attitude.
How did you get into athletics? Did you try other sports as well?
I tried all sports but athletics was my real passion. My dad took me running when I was six years old!
What sports do you do now? What do you enjoy about sport now?
I run, I row; both more fitness than sport but I’m not adverse to competing at either. I also play golf.
And finally, on a personal note, when I was younger and throwing the javelin in school competitions you were my hero! What does it feel like to know you inspire others to achieve?
That's great! The Olympics last year was a huge driver in this regard too and I hope that we see many new champions going on their journeys as a result.
Many thanks Steve!
Steve's Bio: during Steve Backley’s career he won four European Championship gold medals, three Commonwealth Games gold medals, two silvers and a bronze at the Olympic Games, and two World Championship silver medals. He achieved the world record three times and was the first British athlete to successfully win four consecutive European Championship titles.