The Mintridge Foundation is Pretty Athletic's amazing charity partner. They're a registered charity dedicated to enhancing life skills in young people through sport. We spoke to their fabulous founder Alex Wallace to learn a little more about how and why she founded the foundation.
"We provide a support network for young people by harnessing the power of positive sporting role models. The Mintridge Foundation assists young people of all ages, abilities and physical capabilities to develop confidence and resilience, and creates awareness of the importance of mental and physical wellbeing through sport.
Our team of Ambassadors - Olympians, Paralympians and other professional sports stars from over 20 sports, both team and individual - work with young people in schools, clubs and academies across the UK. Starting with visits including assemblies, coaching clinics and classroom sessions tailored to each organisation's requirements, our ambassadors can then provide one- on- one remote mentoring in a safeguarded environment, delivered via technology such as FitSwarm and Playwaze to build a lasting legacy for individuals.
I started Mintridge five years ago because I needed help myself as a teenager. I was a committed hockey player, but missed out on getting into the England team at the final stage. I had a huge crash of confidence and felt my identity was under threat. I really struggled with what I perceived as failure. If I had a mentor that had been there, done that and got the scars, I believe that I would have coped much better and my biggest love of all wouldn't have become my worst enemy.
Young people see the Ambassadors on the telly and now someone important is giving up their time for them through our programmes. They are also not a teacher or a parent, advice from them sinks in in a different way; they have a platform that makes young people sit up and listen.
One of my favourite phrases is that "You cannot be what you cannot see!" and at Mintridge, that is exactly what we are trying to achieve by creating relatable role models for young people. My sporting role model growing up was the dedicated Jonny Wilkinson. Why was Jonny my role model? I didn't play rugby and I'm not male but female athletes weren't as visible. Visibility matters and having a huge diversity of athletes from different ethnicities, backgrounds, you name it, we showcase it!
The Mintridge Foundation's successes demonstrate the incredible power of sport; from a mentee's selection to represent Great Britain in their chosen field to enabling disabled children to find confidence and happiness just through participation. Understanding life after sport, we also support our Ambassadors in their transition from active sport to the next stage of their careers."
We run various initiatives throughout the year to support the Mintridge Foundation, plus if you use the code "MINTRIDGE" when you shop, you get 20% off your order and they also receive a portion of the sales proceeds!