Inspiring & Motivating with Paula Radcliffe

Well.. my claim to fame, is that I ran a race with Paula Radcliffe: The London Marathon in 2003. Only she set a World Record that day and I, ahem, set my one and only Marathon “record” of 4hrs 31min pretty much TWICE the time of her 2 hours, 15min and 25sec. You do have to laugh!

However, we do have one thing in common – we both like to inspire – I like to inspire people to Get Crafty (and now Get Arty) and Paula likes to inspire people to Get Active, as well as help the Nation motivate our athlete’s in this summer’s London Olympics. Which is she has teamed up with the Fairy Dishes for Best Wishes competition.

Inspiring Children – Fairy Dishes started off as a campaign for Schools – where schools had the opportunity to win £10,000 towards sports equipment. “If you want to get your children interested in sports”, says Paula, “you need to give them opportunity to try out lots off different sporting activities. Children need a chance to find what out what works for them.” Without trying something out, they will never know they like it. You don’t push them into one sport, but lots of different ones. Paula’s daughter, Isla, likes a range of activities from cycling, to rollerblading, to dancing, to gymnastics and swimming. “I would not want Isla to specialise in just one sport until she is older. I was around 13, when I really started focussing on running. Until then don’t just pick one activity, try out lots of different ones“.

Inspiring Adults –If you are an adult wanting to become more active, then I would suggest that you join a club of sorts – it is a great place to meet people and benefit from teh social side of sports. Get encouragement also professional advice. Some of my best friends I met through running clubs. Of course I am bias towards running, but it is a great sport, as you can do it any place, any time. You can explore your local environment and get your bearings“. She emphasises that it is always about what “works best for you” – be it the type or sport or the time of day you train. She prefers her hardest training sessions in the morning, but that is partly driven by spending time in the afternoon with her children.

Motivating Athletes Next week Fairy launches the Fairy Dishes of Best Wishes competition on Facebook (more info below). This gives you the chance to design your Dishes for Wishes for our athletes and supporting them this summer – “this really is a moral boosting and shows your support and  what better way than through Fairy – such a great British institution.”  Using the fun and easy design app, Paula is calling on everyone to create “Dishes of Best Wishes” – individual plate designs with words and pictures of encouragement and support – at FairyDish.

Paula’s inspiration and motivation was supported by her parents – I love how she describes her childhood: “My parents were very supporting of letting us choose our own way – they provided for us the experiences – be it in sport, travel or food, but they let us discover – in a guided and balanced way”. A good diet is also important – “We would often be out all weekend at different sporting events and my mother would make sure we always started the day with a very good breakfast. She used to work full time, but there was always a healthy home cooked meal for us in the evening“. Which ties in nicely with the Fairy Dishes campaign – did you realise it takes 20,000 to raise an athlete? That is a lot of good food to cook and a lot of washing up to do! “Get the washing up done quickly and well and you will have more time left over for the family“, says Paula. “At home we share the washing up, especially Isla likes to help, but sometimes I wonder if she makes more of a mess. But she has fun. Since having children, she has had to be more organised (ah yes, that sounds familiar), but she has great support from her family. And the time the grandparents spend looking after the children, doesn’t only give her peace of mind that they are well looked after and happy, but she knows it gives her children the opportunity to develop a close relationship with their grandparents. “I had a very close relationship with my grandmother, she gave me a lot of advice. Time with grandparents is very important“.

More on the The Fairy Dishes of Best Wishes Competition

Before I go into detail… I LOVE this special edition GOLD Fairy Liquid bottle… PERFECT for some crafty goodness! Rockets anyone????

The Fairy Dishes of Best Wishes competition is open for entry from Monday 16th April – Sunday 17th June with all eligible designed dishes available to view on the Dishes of Best Wishes gallery here.  The five most voted for dishes will win a printed, framed copy of their design, signed by Paula Radcliffe, with many more appearing online and in national media.

Paula marks the launch of the campaign on Wednesday 18th April with a surprise visit to St Anselm’s RC Primary School in Harrow, London – a winner of the Fairy Dishes of Best Wishes Schools’ Challenge  who have won £11,500 for designing a good luck message for Team GB. On the day she will be taking part in a sports master class with some lucky pupils. Students will then have the opportunity to present Paula with the winning Dish of Best Wishes they had designed first hand.

This is a sponsored post.