On the 17th and 18th December, Team Mintridge came together for a wonderful two days of CPD, with our partners at Switch the Play at the beautiful grounds of Witham Hall, for the sixth Mintridge Training day. It was a chance for the Ambassadors, trustees, staff, partners and friends of Mintridge to come together to celebrate a hugely successful year for the Foundation, and bring along some Christmas cheer with their exceptional Christmas jumpers. After receiving their goody bags which included the essentials… Old Ball bags and purses from our friends at Old Balls, a Squadkit hat and water bottle and lots of other Mintridge goodies and an agenda for the day, it was time to grab some tea and coffee and catch up with Ambassadors, new and old. It was a fantastic occasion for everyone at Mintridge to be able to get together and celebrate the year we have had as a charity. It has been a whirlwind year for The Mintridge Foundation and we were excited to have the Team together to be able to share all of our exciting news and developments.
On our first evening together, we were so pleased to be joined by the family of Anna Horrell, who was an inspirational coach to our founder Alex Wallace. Each year we present the Anna Horrell Award to a budding young athlete, who has been mentored by a Mintridge Ambassador, in memory of Anna. Anna who was incredibly influential and encouraging to the sporting endeavours of so many young people, including our Founder, Alex. We hope that this award is a way to remember Anna in the most positive way to reflect her amazing qualities. This is the third year we have presented this wonderful award and we were so pleased that this year’s winner would be presented the award by their mentor and Anna’s family.
The award is presented to an individual, or group of individuals, that has demonstrated a proactive nature and infectious enthusiasm throughout their programme and has shown great potential in their chosen sport.
This year the award was presented to Ali Layard from Wellington School. Ali is a deserved winner and talented future cricket star. Ali was mentored by our cricket Ambassador, Ben Smith and is an exceptionally talented cricketer, who is currently part of the England Physical Disability (PD) squad. As part of our evening, Ben’s mentee got to take part in an extra special net session with Ben and gain some expert tips from him in person rather than over Skype. Ali has thoroughly enjoyed his mentoring experience with Ben over the last six months and has learnt so much from him. Our friends at SportSpiel led a brilliant Q&A panel with Ben and Ali in front of Team Mintridge and our friends, guests and trustees, all about how he has been helped by Team Mintridge and the six months of remote mentoring. It was very inspirational to hear from Ali and we cannot wait to follow his journey over the next few years.
To kickstart our two days of training, we were so pleased to be joined by B Mindful and Switch the Play for the first of our masterclasses on Mental Health. The Ambassadors all had the opportunity to learn all about mental health and develop their own awareness for themselves but also for the mentees and young people they work with. It was great for them to be able to pick up some helpful tips and tools that they can use when mentoring the young people, they work with as part of the Bronze, Silver and Gold mentoring programmes. They thoroughly enjoyed practising some mindfulness themselves in the yoga session at the end of the session, which was a great introduction to mindfulness and how the Ambassadors can be looking after themselves and others.
Throughout our CPD days. We were so pleased that we could talk to our Ambassadors about our ever-growing partnerships this year. This year we have been supported by Dentons footwear, ISE partners, Moodbeam and we got to explain a bit more about our new and exciting media partnership with the Sunday Times. It was also great to be joined by our partner Bowbridge Homes, who spoke a little more to our Ambassadors about how they have supported the charity this year and the Mintridge Programmes we have delivered in the areas that they have been developing homes. We also got to hear from Sarah Juggins and Patrick Latham about the work they have been doing on our Mintridge book, which we can’t wait for you all to read!
Our partners Squadkit, also had a presence throughout our days, as we talked more about the partnership that we have developed this year with them and their support for the Programmes we have jointly delivered throughout the year. Each of our Ambassadors took home their Squadkit Mintridge hat and water bottle, which will come in very useful over the Christmas period!
As part of our day, Team Mintridge were introduced to our partners at Crazy Catch and got to try our their equipment first hand, which in a room full of athletes, was incredibly exciting but extremely competitive! Everyone has lots of fun trying to beat their team mates scores!
Moodbeam, our new mental health and wellness partner, also joined us via a video link and spoke in depth, all about why they are supporting Mintridge and how they link up with our mental health focus this year. It you would like to learn more about our Mintridge partners, you can visit our website to find more.
As part of our evening we also awarded our first ever Fundraiser of the Year awards. The first was presented to our very own Danielle Brown MBE, for completing the Great East Swim earlier this year and then a brilliant joint award to the amazing Jemma Rix and Lauren Woodwiss as Team Whale of a Time Row, who broke the world record for the female pair taking part in the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge earlier on this year and raised £15,153.72 for The Mintridge Foundation and our partners at Prestige Homeseeker, who raised an incredible £32,300.00 for the Foundation during 2019. The director Silvano and his colleague Sam were able to join us on the evening to receive the award.
We also presented some fun awards throughout our evening for, ‘Photo of the Year’, which went to Georgia Lees for always being so photogenic. The ‘Quote of the Year’ award, for Stevie Eskinazi, after an excellent comment from his Hopping Hill Primary School mentee during a Gold Programme fixture and a special award to Jo Paske for her exceptional photography skills and support throughout this year!
On the 18th of December, Team Mintridge carried on the CPD excitement with a full day of CPD, delivered by Switch the Play. We were pleased to be joined by Ben Croucher from the BBC, for the Presentation Skills Masterclass and Stu Holliday for the Emotional Resilience Masterclass. Both sessions were incredibly interesting and important for the Ambassadors, as it gave them the tools to be able to be great mentors and deliverers, when the Ambassadors deliver their whole school presentations and Mintridge Mentoring Programmes. The Team all had a chance to present their opening pitch to the rest of the group and to gain valuable feedback for their own inspirational speeches.
During the Emotional Resilience masterclass, Stu Holliday from Switch the Play, talked about the importance of recognising the pressures and stresses that we are all under, especially for our Ambassadors during their professional careers but also for their lives outside of sport. This has been extremely useful for them to be able to learn more about how young people function and the things that make us work as people and athletes, in the most efficient way. Our Ambassadors learned so much about how they could be the best mentors and give the best advice to the mentees that they work with.
We also invited Steve Shortland along to present a coaching masterclass to our Ambassadors, to enhance their knowledge and understanding of coaching principles, to enable them to deliver the best Mintridge Programmes at all our school visits. Throughout the day, the Mintridge Ambassadors enjoyed lots of interactive sessions and gained a range of new skills and insights from each other, during our masterclasses and during the time they got to spend with the rest of the team during the day.
After our day at Witham Hall School, we celebrated a fantastic year with our 2019 Mintridge quiz, hosted by our very own Sue Barker a.k.a Alex Wallace. With a few tough rounds of questions, about high scores, personal bests and quickest times, as well as our guess the ball round, the winners of the quiz were announced. Although overly confident from the beginning, with a strong team name of ‘1st place’, Fil Kamps and Alasdair Hooper came out on top and actually won the first place prize in the quiz. Closely followed by Lizzie Simmonds and Laura Sugar who came second.
After a wonderful meal at Lamberts in Stamford, where we came together to pull our Christmas crackers, toast to a fantastic year and eat a bit of Mintridge cake. The Team then departed their separate ways and said goodbye for a well earned Christmas break!
We are so grateful to all the support we have received from our trustees, partners, friends and fundraisers throughout this year and we are so excited to be looking ahead to a brilliant year of Programmes and more Mintridge fun in 2020.
Thank you to everyone who was able to join us for our Ambassador CPD sessions. We can’t wait for next year!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from us all at Team Mintridge!