Southampton’s Olympic diving silver medallist Pete Waterfield has grasped the power of his medal and been on a mission to inspire school children. Since retiring from diving in July, and even before that, Waterfield has been working hard on initiatives to inspire youngsters, not just in sport but every day life.
He has now launched a new website petewaterfield.com alongside continued work with Sky Sports with their schools initiative, Living Sports. “The Olympic medal has given me incredible power to go and mentor and speak to children,” said the Athens 2004 silver medallist.
“If I were to hang it up at home and leave it, it would be worthless.
“But I’ve got out there it and showed kids that dreams are not out of reach. “I want to share the memories and motivate school kids, who are the most important thing. Even if I’ve just transformed one child’s life, then it will be all worth it.” Waterfield, who grew up in Walthamstow, London and had a challenging upbringing before settling in Southampton, fully knows the struggles some youngsters face in deprived areas of the country and strives towards helping out in such siuations.
His new website was even set up with the help of Liam Doyle, a youngster Waterfield mentored during his time at Bridgemary School in Gosport and helped him turn his life around. “I was mentoring in schools a few years ago. We were in Bridgemary ... a lot of pupils were disengaged from education and weren’t doing well – getting into trouble,” he recalled.
“One boy, Liam, was going down the wrong route in life; he was on the verge of trouble with the Police.
“With the project we saw a clear change in his behaviour and he started turning things around.
“Since then, he left school and has started doing his coaching badges and is ready for a scholarship in football. “That transformation is highly impressive.
“I came to set up my new website and I was struggling to get it fully sorted. Along came Liam who said he could design websites. I let him loose on my new page and he’s designed it.”
“I’m not saying his development was all down to me, there were obviously other people working hard with him, but it’s just brilliant to see that transformation.”