Colin Jackson urges kids to ‘try’ after Euro 2022 and Commonwealth Games

Former athletes Colin Jackson and Dani Rowe said the Commonwealth Games and the Lionesses’ victory at Euros made 2022 an “extremely important” year in the sport, particularly for inspiring young people.

Former team cyclist GB Rowe and former world hurdles champion Jackson have praised the UK’s top sports stars and hope that children will be encouraged to acquire an “adventure attitude”.

Jackson told the PA news agency that he wants children to be motivated by athletes’ success.

“We as top athletes, when we compete, we never want people to marvel and think ‘I can’t do this,'” the 55-year-old told the PA news agency.

Colin Jackson, left, and Dani Rowe, right, showed their support for the National Lottery after their investment of over £40 million to support the Commonwealth Games (Tim Thorowgood/PA)

“What you want them to do is marvel and say, ‘Oh, I’ll try.’

“And that ‘try it’ attitude I think (the kids) will last their whole lives – they’ll taste a little bit of success and think, ‘I can do this.’

“And they will not be afraid to face challenges, it will be very important for their future.”

Jackson said Wales’s Geraint Thomas National Velodrome, a venue partly funded by a £7.5m contribution from the National Lottery, is an example of “inspiring” facilities for young people.

“We need facilities like this for young people to come when inspired by these sports stars, to train and feel part of a journey,” he said.

“And then the magic can really happen.”

Colin Jackson

Jackson said sports facilities like Wales’ Geraint Thomas National Velodrome could create ‘magic’ for young people in sport (PA)

He also compared winning gold at the Commonwealth Games to taking an exam.

“You have no idea what the outcome will be, but you feel like you’ve done all the preparation,” Jackson said.

“And then, when the result comes in and soon, you’re an A-star student. You did the best you could… These emotions are exactly the same.”

Less than a week after winning Euro 2022 for the Lionesses of England, former road and track cyclist and Olympic gold medalist Rowe said the win gave her goosebumps.

ASDA Women's Tour of Yorkshire - Day Two

Team GB’s Dani Rowe at the Women’s Tour of Yorkshire (PA)

“I was driving home after eight days of commentary (on the women’s Tour de France) listening to the women’s Euros on the radio and I got goosebumps,” Rowe, 31, told PA.

“It was just amazing and everyone was talking about it, it’s so powerful.

“You see girls in their football uniforms now and you really haven’t seen that before.

“This year will be extremely important for this change in women’s sport.”

She expressed similar sentiments to Jackson about the visibility of models and sports facilities to young people.

“Events like this are so important because they are televised and that means young children, boys and girls, can watch and be inspired,” Rowe said.

“I think it all comes down to this visibility, the models that work there – this support structure to be able to make a career choice, I think it didn’t exist until now.”

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