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A person without passion is like chicken tikka masala without the sauce

We spoke to Launching Lady Alex Paske about the Mintridge Foundation and her nomination for the Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year 2018.

“Alex, you are so lucky to be going to all of these incredible events and have these amazing opportunities!” 

Is it luck or is it sheer dogged tenacity to follow your passion and be able to take the younger generation on that pathway with you?

As one of my greatest role models, Pinky Lilani says, “A person without passion is like chicken tikka masala without the sauce”. This is something that I live by day in and day out as I continue to grow the charity that I founded, Mintridge Foundation. 

The Mintridge Foundation is a registered charity dedicated to enhancing life skills in young people through sport. 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 Skype and Playwaze to build a lasting legacy for individuals.

I am so excited to say that I have been shortlisted for The Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year 2018 in the grassroots category, I firmly believe this is down to my passion and tenacity, nothing else. I have relentlessly “made a noise” which has now generated national awareness for the good of the charity (and how can I forget that it will allow me a glitzy award ceremony alongside the likes of Jessica Ennis – Hill and Dina Asher – Smith). 

The most wonderful part of this short period of time since the shortlist was announced has been that of kindness. The kindness of those closest to me that have gone above and beyond to share the message of my nomination, the kindness of strangers that have taken the time to share with me the impact that my story has had on them and the kindness of friends that I haven’t seen for years that have taken five minutes out of their day to go above and beyond a standard “Facebook share” and explain to their own communities just why they have voted for me. Surrounding yourself with warmth and kindness is integral in whatever path you choose to pursue. 

This demonstrates the importance of those that you surround yourself; they must invest in your vision and interests. Your support network is vital to your success and I will always be indebted to my parents, brother and boyfriend for allowing me to be me and truly question something that I ask every student that I work with; “What is success for you?” 

Success for me wasn’t going to university, but it was for my best friend. Success for me wasn’t heading to London to pursue a career in the city but it was for a great friend. Success means different things to different people and that is OK. Success to me is a parent emailing to say that her daughter has been selected for the county netball team following rejection on two occasions. That selection was down to the resilience and motivation that her mother attributes to the Mintridge mentoring programme. That is true success for me and exactly why Mintridge began. 

More information regarding all things SWOTY can be found here.

If you would like to vote for me, you can just here.

Thank you for taking the time to read about my Mintridge journey! 

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