Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Inspiration - Live Events

Last weekend I was lucky enough to go and see Kelly Clarkson in concert at my local music venue. Now for those of you who don’t know who she is she was the winner of the first series of American Idol and has since gone on to produce three albums winning many awards in the process. Now Kelly Clarkson may not be your scene but the whole experience of going to live events go me thinking.

Now we all have our favourite artists when it comes to music who we enjoy listening to or in my case singing along to, on top of this many of us are inspired by our favourite artists through their music and their personality. For me though there is nothing more inspiring than going to see someone perform live. Actually seeing someone with our own two eyes in the flesh and listening to them performing live creates strong emotions, feelings and memories which can’t be created by listening to them on CD or on the Radio.

I am a highly motivated person and I don’t need concerts or famous people to inspire me but I always come out of live events like these feeling even more inspired than when I went in. I am sure many people share this feeling after they come out of the event but the problem is for most of them that it is short lived and they don’t harness the inspiration. I wish everyone could get the chance to go to live events like concerts and get these experiences as an event like a concert is such a tangible way to show someone what can be achieved through hard work. If you see an artist have a CD in the shops you notice it but when you are at a concert you can see first hand how people react to them and you can feel their success.

This is the same for other live events like theatre and sports. Whatever it is you follow or whatever it is you enjoy watching or listening to there is nothing like the live experience. It’s at these events where celebrities and professionals get to be the most inspiring and where they probably inspire the most amount of people who actually go and do something with that inspiration. These events are especially inspiring if you don’t go to gigs all the time or don’t go to a football match every week, it is a more memorable and special night if you have had to wait for or save up to go and see something you really want to see.

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Sports Funding

It’s a big year for sport this year with the Olympics this summer as well as other big events like the football European Championships. Sports are making big headlines at the moment with the Formula 1 season kicking off the last weekend and the upcoming climax of the premiership football season.

This week there was some great news for young up and coming football players (or soccer players as otherwise known) in England as the FA announced plans to pump two hundred million pounds in to grassroots football. Many organisations and government parties have promised ideas like this for many years but now finally the FA are making a heavy financial investment.

After much time spent working and playing in the football community I am all too aware of the problems that exist. Young people need safe and proper facilities and staff in order to help their development. However in my time spent in youth football I have seen a huge range of standards of facilities with any clubs not having any facilities at all and just a pitch to play on.

Money needs to be invested in facilities and the education of coaches, staff and volunteers associated with football clubs. So many clubs are run by parents or adults who have had no access to training. If we can raise the quality of coaching staff we will raise the quality of players being produced. However the cost of courses are putting many people off as individuals and clubs can’t justify paying for the courses with so many other outgoings.

As well as training players to be the best they can be the FA need to encourage young people in to other career routes which can get you in to football. We need more young coaches, more young referees, more young groundsmen and more young first aiders. Not every young football player is going to go and play football for a living but if you can teach them more skills and show them different experiences it may help them make a career out of football.

This year with all the sport going on there is a great opportunity to us these sporting events to help tackle obesity and to help create a fitter and healthier nation and football is one of the many sports we can use to do that. As shown by Sports Relief on BBC last week you can do great things through sport and sport has a great power to change lives we just need to use it right.

To have your say on sports funding join in our topic of the week on the forums by going to:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Website back online

Hi Guys

Just to let you know after a brief period offline due to issues with our server we are now back online and fully functional.

The Talented Young People team

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Getting the right start – School selection

Over the last couple of weeks the news that has been revolving around the educational world and some of then national headlines has been the selection process of parents selecting a school for their child. According to news today one in five parents didn’t get their child in to their first choice school. Now I know every parent wants the best for their child but my parents never got the chance to select my school, I just went to my nearest school and got a quite adequate education.

When did this first come in to place that parents could choose? I am all for parents taking an active role in their child’s development but the question I have is how can someone know where a child is going to learn and develop the best? Yes you can look at schools and see which have the best facilities and which fair the best in league tables but there may be schools which have less facilities or that don’t fair so highly in league tables but are more suited for your child’s development. It may be at a school lower down the league table that there may be an inspirational teacher that gets your child enthused in a subject or they may learn more by having to make do with not the best text books or equipment.

On top of all of this there are other factors which aren’t measurable like the development of personal and social skills which happen at schools. Going to school is not just about grades it is about developing and growing as a person who is ready for the world after school. Like I have had said in previous blogs a more important and measurable league table for schools would be to compare every school on what jobs their pupils ending up going to do after they finished education.

Now I’m not judging parents here who have to place their children at schools which aren’t their nearest because their nearest is full. Remember though if you do send your child to a school further away when there are local schools available you have to factor in the lost time through travelling that may affect their ability to perform and develop as well as the affects that moving them out of their social circle and putting them in to a new one will have whether positive or negative.

If each child had to go to their nearest school it would in my opinion improve the overall standard of schools and remove elitism in education and in society. Some of the world’s greatest world changers went to some of the most so called deprived schools. A pupil shouldn’t be judged by the school that they go to but on their own abilities. It’s like with league tables parents put so much importance on looking at the league table which encompasses every student at the school when really they are and should only be worried about their child’s education not everyone else’s.

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Facebook Fatigue

The last two years has seen an explosion of social networking activity on the Internet. With websites like MySpace, Bebo and Facebook attracting millions of users who log on each day to check their profiles, upload photos and talk with their friends.

Over recent weeks Facebook has reported in a downturn in activity on their website and it is lead to people claiming “Facebook Fatigue.” With so much hype about Facebook and so much to do on their websites with millions of applications that you can download or get invited to take part in people are now starting to get bored of their product or are starting to use it in a less active way.

I think social networking has its good points and its bad points. I think social networking websites are great for developing confidence and networking skills as well as sharing information and getting back in touch with old friends. However instead of using social networking as a tool and part of your life people over the last couple of years have let social networking become their life with a high percentage of their daily interaction with other people happening through social networking and not real life. Some users have not been able to go five minutes without checking their profile to see who has commented or left them a message it has become like an addiction and a way for people to waste time.

The biggest concern I have with social networking is the security implications of using them. if used sensibly and run sensibly these sites can be safe places but with so much information being posted and made freely available to the general public it is now becoming too easy for people who you wouldn’t want getting your information getting hold of it. Also on the security side it is now all to easy to set up an account in which the user can pretend to be someone they are not in order to engage in criminal activity.

I think social networking can help make your social life more efficient but this is if only used correctly and as a tool. I think that social networking needs to be made a lot safer before I would encourage children to use it as at the moment there are too many dangers. Regardless of how many good points there are if there is one small danger to young people I would not recommend it.

Social Networking is now big business with Facebook, Bebo and MySpace all making millions of pounds each year so there are always going to be new companies trying to break the market so like Facebook has grown over the last year I’m sure next year there could be a new major player.

As well as the companies that provide social networking not getting complacent companies that market through social networking or have social networking pages also have to guard against compliancy. Social networking pages are a great publicity tool but you have to make sure you are getting the most out of your page and providing a service that your viewers want. Also social networking is great for young bands as they can now have their own page for free which can easily be updated and that they can drive viewers to which is another way it can be used for good reasons.

So overall I say yes there is a place for social networking but don’t let it rule your life. Customize the experience to suit your needs.

To share your thoughts on social networking come and check out our topic of the week on our forums by going to:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"