“Everyone has a right to dream but not everyone has the right support or opportunity to find their voice and unlock their potential. Books can play a key role in inspiring young people to believe in themselves and to learn from role models.”
These are the words of Katie Warriner, a performance psychologist who works with the Great Britain men’s squad and is teaming up with footballer Marcus Rashford and sports journalist Carl Anka to create a series of books for children across the UK.
The trio will be collaborating with Macmillan Children’s Books on one fiction and two non-fiction titles to be released in 2021 and 2022. These books will be based around Rashford’s own experiences and will aim to inspire readers to work on their resilience and belief, showing them that with hard work and persistence, anyone can achieve their dreams, no matter where they are from.
"I’m passionate about helping young people in particular, they deserve the best from us all," Katie – who joined the GB set up in 2017 and is also the co-founder of The Prime Clinic – said.
"I’m personally so inspired by Marcus Rashford’s courage on and off the field. He is a brilliant reminder that sport is about so much more than medals and trophies, it's about making a difference in the world. Not just in how it develops our character, helping us be the best we can be, but then the platform you have to contribute positively to the world around you.
"From a values point of view, it’s a dream project to support."
One thing Katie is particularly keen to get across during the project is the fact that everyday people can achieve exceptional things. And by learning from role models like Rashford, we can find and develop our own potential.
For many children, the idea of becoming an elite athlete or reaching the pinnacle in any chosen industry can seem to be an almost impossible reality for any variety of reasons. But by working alongside the Manchester United footballer, she is hoping to provide the youngsters with the knowledge and belief that they can achieve their goals and overcome any barriers along the way.
"Beyond the elite work our hockey squads demonstrate on the pitch and in the gym, they are human beings first and foremost! It doesn’t matter where you’re from, we are all human. We all have doubts and worries, hopes and dreams," she said.
"So if you’re a young person who wants to become a pilot, an actor, a doctor, be the first person in your family to go to university or even just learn to read and own a book, let’s support each other with our goals and be there during the struggles.
"That’s what’s so beautiful, everyone is unique, has a unique gift and an individual path.
"When we eventually get to publication day, we will try to get the book in the hands of as many young people as possible and I hope they read it and realise that they are brilliantly unique, just like everyone else."
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