Commonwealth medallist inspires students to go for gold


A Commonwealth Games gold medallist has inspired students of New College Lanarkshire to go for gold in all aspects of their life with the help of his keys to success.

Scottish gymnastics legend Steve Frew visited Supported Learning students as part of the Sky Sports Living for Sport programme, which aims to help young people develop valuable life skills that will help them in and outside of education, now and in the future.

Steve spoke to the Life Skills, Enterprise and Personal Development class at the Motherwell Campus, telling them of the struggles he overcame to become Scotland’s first-ever gymnastics Commonwealth Games gold medallist.

Speaking to the group, Steve told of how fitting in at school was not always easy for him as someone who was small for his age. However, thanks to his strength and determination, he came to be the only Scottish gymnast on the Great Britain team by the time he turned 14. His progression through the ranks was challenging; it took Steve 23 years to finally fulfil his childhood dream of taking home a Commonwealth gold medal.

Steve then took the opportunity to introduce the Sky Sports Living for Sport initiative and the six keys to success he continues to use to enable him to achieve success in everyday life – mental toughness, people skills, sports and life knowledge, breaking barriers and planning for success.

He said: “Sky Sports Living for Sport is such a rewarding initiative for young people, and I wanted to be a part of something that inspires and supports young people’s lives. I think my story is something that students who may be struggling with their own problems can relate to, and hearing it from me personally gives them the impetus to be the best they can be.

“I struggled with my own issues as a young boy but by focusing on what I wanted to achieve and staying true to myself, I turned negativity into something positive which helped me get to where I wanted to be. Sky Sports Living for Sport really enables young people to have a channel through which they can focus on their goals and better themselves in life.”

Nadine Blakely, a student attending Steve’s talk, said: “Steve told us that if we put our minds to it we can do whatever we want!”

Fellow student Ewan McGregor continued: “Steve helped to motivate us and help us find our purpose.”

His classmate Sophie, who had the chance to hold Steve’s 2002 gold medal, added: “He was inspirational – and the medal was heavier than I expected.”

Susan Reid, class lecturer, said: “The motivational visit came at the perfect time as the group are in the final week of a two year course and are ready to move on to new and exciting challenges.

“With the help of Frances Agnew from the Faculty of Supported Learning and Skills Development Scotland, the Life Skills, Enterprise and Personal Development students have a range of positive destinations to move on to, including further college courses and employment.

“I’d like to thank Steve for taking the time to speak to the class, and show them that anything is possible!”

As part of the Sky Sports Living for Sport programme, over 135 athlete mentors are visiting schools and colleges across the country to deliver the sessions focused on sports and team-building, sharing their stories of success and encouraging young people to be the best they can be.

For more information about the initiative, visit

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