Should famous or celebrated athletes give back to their community? Do they have a duty to, or do we expect too much of people who have demanding training schedules?

Why should athletes look to support their community?

role models
Role models

Famous athletes act as role models for youngsters, whether they want to be or not. Young people, whether they are trying to follow in a star’s sporting footsteps, or simply trying to navigate life, look to these role models to assess how to behave, so it’s imperative that athletes set a good example. Giving back to the community by doing charity work, training sessions, donations or fundraising, all display good behaviour modelling. Stars sometimes become role models as teenagers, such as Ellie Simmons and Theo Walcott, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/paralympic-sport/3117951/Eleanor-Simmons-tops-list-of-British-sports-teenage-role-models-Paralympic-Sport.html, which means it’s never too early for athletes to start supporting their local community.

Thanking loyal support

No one becomes an athlete without very hard work, but also without the support of fans who make the sport watchable in the first place. Those who have profited, either financially or just through sporting success, cannot have done so without the hoards of fans, who each week, go to watch football, rugby, cricket and hockey games. Supporting the local community is a simple way of giving back.

running charitable events

Passing on knowledge

One way athletes can give back to their community is by running charitable events where they pass on knowledge. This can be in the form of mini training sessions or talks. Elite athletes receive a level of training that few youngsters will ever get to enjoy and by passing on knowledge and skills, athletes are able to improve their sport from a grassroots level. If you’re running a hockey training session and you’re unable to find a celebrated athlete to help lead the session, try out a field hockey training drills video like those at https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Hockey/ to help give the session structure.

Self-branding and publicity

For many athletes, there is a kickback to supporting the local community and that’s a good public image, which can do wonders for reputation, and later on in life, for work opportunities. Just look at stars like David Beckham, who has consistently supported his local community and is now never short on career opportunities.

As you can see, supporting the community is both the right thing to do and a worthwhile investment for athletes.