The SportsAid Vault Podcast, produced by Hogarth Worldwide and Gramercy Park Studios, is here to bring you insight and inspiration from the country’s most talented young athletes!
Each guest will open up their own ‘personal vault’ as they reveal the secrets to their success and how their age-group level achievements led to them making their mark in the senior ranks. We will also hear about each guest’s first steps into their sport, the importance of family, challenges they’ve faced, future ambitions and the ‘person behind the athlete’.
Each episode will contain a themed discussion, specifically based around the guest’s unique experiences, where they will offer practical advice, different approaches and alternative ways of thinking which have proved effective in their careers so far. There will also be a quickfire Q&A covering a range of topics, inside sport and out, allowing us to get to know them better!
Co-hosted by Tom Gayle, BBC sports presenter, commentator and reporter, and Dominic Mensah, current Great Britain tumbling sensation, the podcast is perfect listening for SportsAid athletes, as well as their parents and guardians, but will also be highly informative and entertaining for all of the charity’s commercial partners, supporters and fundraisers.
The SportsAid Vault Podcast kicked off in style with Viddal Riley, a professional cruiserweight boxer signed to Mayweather Promotions, joining us for a bumper double episode. Viddal represented Team GB at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games. He was a decorated amateur boxer with an impressive eight national titles and European silver to his name.
Viddal has a huge social media presence with over 1.1 million subscribers on YouTube and more than 600,000 followers on Instagram. The 23-year-old famously trained YouTube star KSI as he overcame Logan Paul in a rematch which generated huge pay-per-view numbers worldwide. Viddal, under the name RIL, also writes and produces his own rap music.
• Early inspirations and the influence of his parents growing up
• Progressing through the amateur ranks and his experiences at West Ham ABC
• Representing Team GB at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games
• Realising his talent and his dad pushing him to be the best he can be
• Turning professional with Mayweather Promotions after Las Vegas trip with KSI
• Dealing with injury setbacks and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020
• Growth of his YouTube channel and social media following
• Following passions outside of boxing to create right balance in life
• Writing and producing his own music and launching clothing line
• Importance of being authentic to build a loyal and devoted audience
• Being a public figure and the challenges which come as a direct result
• Years of consistent dedication to his craft which led to training KSI
Arsenal and England defender Lotte Wubben-Moy is the latest guest to join us on the SportsAid Vault Podcast! Lotte recently made her Lionesses debut after impressing for the Gunners in the Women’s Super League. She joined the club’s Centre of Excellence in 2013 and stepped up to the first-team two years later in a 2-1 victory over Notts County.
She decided to move to the University of North Carolina in 2017 to play for the North Carolina Tar Heels. Lotte won the ACC regular season twice, the ACC Women’s Soccer Tournament twice and was part of a team that were two-time runners up in the NCAA Division College Cup. She studied for a major in Sports and Exercise Science with a minor in Art History.
She returned to Arsenal, the club she has supported since she was a child, in September 2020. She grew up in East London and went to school in Stoke Newington where she played netball and was a long jumper and 800-metre runner. She speaks fluent Dutch as her father is from the Netherlands, and runs her own blog called the ‘Lotte Little Things’.
• Growing up in East London and honing her skills by playing football on the streets
• Representing England at age-group level and lining up against the Netherlands
• Making her first-team debut for Arsenal at 16-years-old and being in the dressing room
• Deciding to move to North Carolina to study and join the Tar Heels in the NCAA
• Returning to Arsenal and earning her first senior international cap for the Lionesses
• Popularity of women’s football and importance of exposure across TV channels
• Passion for equality and increased representation of women within football’s administration
• Captaining England Under-17s at the World Cup and European Championships in 2016
• Key attributes of a leader and the standards you must set both on and off the pitch
• Players and coaches she has learnt the most from in her short career so far
• Hopes for the remainder of the season and qualifying for the Champions League
Great Britain para swimmer Louise Fiddes is the latest guest to join us on the SportsAid Vault Podcast! Louise competes in the S14 classification. She first made her mark on the senior stage by winning the overall women’s title at the World Para Swimming World Series in 2018 - having claimed a trio of bronze medals in the Sheffield leg to ensure selection for the team for the World Para Swimming European Championships in Dublin.
Her European debut, at just 17-years-old, saw her bring home four medals, including the SB14 100m breaststroke title and three bronzes, in the S14 200m freestyle, S14 100m butterfly and SM14 200m individual medley events. Just over a year later, Louise, who was supported by SportsAid in 2016 and 2017, became a world champion at the World Para Swimming Championships in London in 2019 as she took the SB14 100m breaststroke title.
The Welwyn Garden City-based swimmer also returned bronze in the S14 200m individual medley and finished fourth in the S14 200m freestyle. Louise had actually earned a call-up to the World Para Swimming Championships in Mexico City back in 2017, where she was set to make her international bow, but an earthquake in the host country led to a postponement being made. Louise, now 20, is eyeing up the Paralympic Games in Tokyo this summer.
• Parents encouraging her to learn to swim after she and her brother Mark nearly drowned
• Struggling at school - academically and socially - and finding her identity through swimming
• Joining Hatfield Swimming Club as she stepped up and started to become more competitive
• Embracing Paralympic movement and her S14 classification after undertaking assessments
• Early mornings and daily routine she follows with stretching, swimming, napping and gym
• Mental toughness required to be an elite athlete and keep training through tough spells
• Working with her coach to overcome challenges posed by her intellectual impairment
• Moving to Manchester for four months during lockdown and learning new skills living alone
• Feelings heading into the Tokyo Paralympics and wanting to perform on the biggest stage
Great Britain triathlete Alex Yee is the latest guest to join us on the SportsAid Vault Podcast! Alex, who was supported by the Dave Aitchison Fund through SportsAid in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, already has multiple European and international medals to his name at senior level. He enjoyed an illustrious career in the junior ranks – winning silver at the Holten ETU Triathlon Junior European Cup in 2015 followed by consecutive golds at the ITU Duathlon World Championships in Aviles and Soria – in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
Alex’s early success led to him being presented with SportsAid’s One-to-Watch Award as an 18-year-old. He has also excelled on the track and in cross country running – posting quicker 5,000m times than Mo Farah did as a junior. He was crowned senior British 10,000m champion in 2018 and finished 14th at the European Athletics Championships that summer.
Back on the triathlon front, having stepped up to senior level, Alex won bronze at the Weihai ITU Triathlon World Cup in China in September 2018 before claiming gold at the Cape Town Discovery Triathlon World Cup, followed by silver on his World Triathlon Series debut in Abu Dhabi, in early 2019. He also enjoyed repeated success in mixed relay teams that year.
This saw him take home gold from the Accenture World Triathlon Mixed Relay Series in Nottingham, as well as silver from the ITU World Triathlon Mixed Relay Series in Tokyo and the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Lausanne. He recently finished fourth in the opening round of the World Triathlon Series in Yokohama before winning gold in Leeds.
• Being inspired by his dad and attending the opening Crystal Palace junior triathlon session
• Going to Kent AC for the first time and training at the Ladywell track just a mile from home
• Balancing triathlon and running commitments alongside school and academic aspirations
• Not falling into one sport too early, avoiding risk of burnout and enjoying being with friends
• ‘One result doesn’t define you’ and how junior accolades stimulated hunger for senior level
• Managing focus and external expectations with pull from both triathlon and track and field
• Suffering horrific mid-race crash on his bike and missing A-Levels recovering in hospital
• Rehabilitation following injuries and winning BUCS cross country title within eight months
• Growth in popularity of triathlon and excitement at the sport hitting mainstream media
• Jumping up to senior level, earning his position and competing against experienced athletes
• Joining the World Class Performance Programme and the ‘bigger machine’ surrounding him
• Training in Leeds before relocating to Newark having always been a ‘city boy’
• Creating the right mindset and psychological cues keeping him on track during a race
• Post-race analysis, talking through competitions and how it helps to shape training
• Developing as an athlete and focusing on process goals to ensure he delivers his best
• Reflecting on importance of SportsAid support and impact it made during his development
• Hobbies outside of sport including collecting Pokemon cards and watching anime
Reaching the Olympics and winning a medal for your country is often considered to be the ultimate goal for many athletes. In this special episode of the SportsAid Vault Podcast, recorded on the morning before the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, we decided to focus specifically on sports psychology and mental fitness. How do you mentally prepare for a major competition like the Olympics? How do you handle the ups and downs of high-performance sport? How can your mind take you to the podium?
Our first guest on this special episode is Chris Shambrook - Performance Director of BelievePerform and Psychology Consultant for the Great Britain Rowing Team at five Olympic Games. He has been working in the world of high performance for over 25 years. His first Olympics were in Sydney in 2000….and he has played a key role for the rowing team at the Games in Athens, Beijing, London and Rio. Chris has a PhD in Psychology and is an Honorary Professor at Staffordshire University. He works closely with SportsAid and talented young athletes through the charity’s partnership with BelievePerform.
Our second guest is Nekoda Davis - a British judoka who represented Team GB at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. She competes in the -57kg category and won her first senior medal when representing Team England at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. She followed up that success in subsequent years with a huge array of podium finishes at Grand Prix and Grand Slam events around the world. Two of Nekoda’s biggest achievements to date have seen her secure podium finishes at the IJF World Judo Championships - claiming bronze in Budapest in 2017 before taking silver in Baku in 2018.
The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games produced so many top-level performances and outstanding medal successes for Great Britain to celebrate….it’s hard to know where to start! We felt it was time for another special of the SportsAid Vault Podcast which reflects on the Paralympics and gives you the inside track on the Games in Tokyo. In this episode, recorded just a few days after the Closing Ceremony, we’ll be finding out about the logistical challenges posed by the delayed Games and how athletes were supported during this time.
We’ll discover what it was like competing without crowds, hear about life in the Athletes’ Village and relive the stand-out moments for ParalympicsGB which captured the nation’s attention. We’ll look at the reception the team received back home and discuss the impact of a three-year cycle ahead of Paris 2024. We’ll also delve into how the next generation of para athletes are identified, highlight the growing popularity of the Paralympic movement and why increased exposure can help inspire more disabled people to take up sport.
Our first guest on this episode is Alasdair Donaldson - the Paralympic Talent and Development Manager at British Triathlon. He acts as the sport’s Operational Lead for the Paralympic Games - where the team won one gold, one silver and one bronze medal in Tokyo. Alasdair joined British Triathlon in 2013 and leads the delivery of Talent ID programmes to help identify the next generation of para triathletes. Prior to this, he was an Endurance Coach at UK Athletics where he worked at the World University Games and the Youth Olympics.
Our second guest is Fabienne Andre - a wheelchair racer who made her ParalympicsGB debut in Tokyo. She competed in the T34 Women's 100m and 800m - coming fifth and fourth respectively. Earlier this year, she won gold in the 100m and 800m at the World Para Athletics European Championships. Fabienne was previously a highly successful swimmer - winning bronze and three silver medals at the Cerebral Palsy World Games in 2018. The 25-year-old works as a Physiotherapist Assistant at the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust.