Sky Sports Living for Sport Outstanding Contribution by an Athlete Mentor

Thu 29th Jun '17

Sky Sports Living for Sport Outstanding Contribution by an Athlete MentorName: Rachael MacKenzie

Sport: Thai Boxing

Achievements: ABA England Boxing Silver Medallist & World Thai Boxing Champion

Rachael, a World Thai Boxing Champion, is one of our longest-standing Athlete Mentors, who has been part of the Sky Sports Living for Sport scheme for over 10 years. Rachael has encouraged countless students to push themselves to really achieve their full potential.

Since joining the Sky Sports Living for Sport Scheme as an Athlete Mentor, Rachael has completed more than 500 visits to schools across the UK with the aim of teaching students the 6 Keys to Success: mental toughness, hunger to achieve, people skills, sports and life knowledge, breaking barriers, and planning for success.

Within her 10 years involved in the scheme, Rachael has inspired thousands of students. Going above and beyond what is expected of her and taking the time to really adapt each session for the different students – it is this dedication that makes her an exceptional Athlete Mentor!

Numerous teachers that Rachael has worked with previously have commented on her incredible positive outlook on life which has inspired staff around the school, helping to increase morale. One teacher, Ed Grady of Selby College in Yorkshire, commented that, “Rachael’s impact at Selby has been felt across the college, not just in Sport. She has inspired all of the students she’s worked with to be the best that they can be.” Several students who were set on leaving Selby College, have chosen to remain to complete a sports degree as a result of Rachael’s impact.

Teachers have commented on not only the improvement of attainment and attendance levels, but importantly, confidence levels of the students involved in sessions with Rachael. Reflecting on winning the Outstanding Contribution by an Athlete Mentor Award, Rachael said, “Being an Athlete Mentor on Sky Sports Living for Sport has been the most rewarding part of my life for the last 10 years. Having the opportunity to impact the lives of young people, so they are then able to impact their communities and create social change is an achievement far greater than any championship belt.”

Rachael was awarded the title of Senior Athlete Mentor in 2012 – she is incredibly passionate about her work and an inspiration to other Athlete Mentors within the scheme. Discussing her work with young people, Rachael said that, “The power of the athlete story to spark imagination, dreams and aspiration is thrilling to observe and be part of.  I've been truly blessed to have had the opportunity to watch young people transformed through Living for Sport and will forever remember and be inspired by their stories.”

Shaun Marsden-Heathcote, Sky Sports Living for Sport Programme Manager as part of Youth Sport Trust, said the following, “Rachael has been an outstanding colleague and professional in my time working with her at the Youth Sport Trust on Sky Sports Living for Sport. Rachael’s ability to work with wide ranging and diverse audiences stand her out as a forward thinking and innovative deliverer and the feedback we receive on both her and the impact she has on young people is always of the highest quality.”

He continued, “As one of the Youth Sports Trusts most experienced and long serving Athlete Mentors Rachael became a Senior Athlete Mentor for the programme in 2012. Working across the Yorkshire and the Humber region Rachael plays a pivotal role in supporting, developing and growing the regional team of Athletes that she leads and is held in very high regard by all of her colleagues and peers. It has been a real privilege to work with her.”


  • Completed in excess of 500 visits to schools
  • Inspired thousands of students over a 10 year period
  • Increased attainment and inspiration levels at schools across the UK