So, the Olympics…how cool was that?! We asked some 10 yr olds what they thought…

Mo Farah, Usain Bolt, Blake, Jessica Ennis, Michael Phelps, Tom Daley, Andy Murray – the kids can real off a whole list of their favourite athletes and tell you in great detail how amazing/impressive/cool they think they are.

“My favourite bit was when Tom Daley jumped in the pool with all his clothes on!” Josh, 10

And interestingly, when we asked them who their favourite celebrities were, and when we usually hear about Cheryl Cole, David Beckham and Jessy J, this time we were hearing the names of the Olympic stars! And when we asked them why these new sports ‘celebrities’ the kids told us it’s because they’re not only brilliant at their chosen sport, but they’re also interesting people, with defined personalities…and perhaps the people with the most defined “brands” are the most popular with the kids e.g. Mo – for his Mobot move and Bolt for his “lightening pose”.

“If I could meet anyone I reckon it would have to be Usain Bolt…he’s awesome. And I love the way he does that pose too before he runs…he’s so much more interesting than the athletes who just stand there and look boring” Jude, 10

So has the Olympics given kids new criteria by which to judge their celebrities? Made them see that raw talent and determination can be something to be admired…rather than just the latest fashion or dating scandal?

“I think Jess Ennis is amazing…she’s like the best all round athlete in the world. Do you think if I started training now I’d be able to compete in Rio?” Lola, 10

The kids told us they’re feeling really “inspired” by the sports stars they’ve seen competing recently, and that it’s encouraged them to get out more, to play more sport, to try new things they’ve never played/tried before…and generally just getting more “active”.

They told us they’ve started “training for the next Olympics” “going for runs around the block”, going out with their Dad’s for bike rides, joining the local triathlon team, entering skate boarding competition, making films of themselves doing sports and uploading onto YouTube etc

…So it sounds like the Olympics has had a real impact on their attitudes and behaviours, which is fantastic, but HOW LONG is it going to last we’re all asking…

 “It’s got everyone into a sporty mood and I don’t want to be a potato couch…and I think the Olympics has made people our age want to do it (compete in the Olympics) in the future” Nic, 10

The question we’re asking here at Sherbert…is the Olympics going to shape the attitudes and behaviour of pre-teens this age for a long time to come or is it just a temporary reaction that will fizzle out and we’ll be back to Cheryl Cole and the latest X Factor winners being the people who inspire our kids?

Let’s hope it’s here to stay!

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