Ultimate Sports Day

Ultimate Sports Day storms out of the blocks on CBBC

England – Dean Macey

Dean Macey has been one of the biggest personalities in British sport since he burst on the senior athletic scene. In 1999 Dean won silver at the World Championships in Seville at the age of 21 and was named The BBC's Young Sports Personality of the Year as well as Young Sportsman of the Year.

It was at successive Olympics that Dean established himself in the hearts of the nation – achieving, against all odds and overcoming injuries, 4th place at Sydney in 2000 and then Athens four years later. After time out again in 2005 for injury, 2006 saw Dean return to action in quite spectacular style with a Gold medal win at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. Since his retirement he has been a regular figure on TV screens as part of the BBC Athletics team at major championships.

How did you come to be involved in USD? Why did you want to become an USD mentor?

I got a call from my agent asking if I wanted to be involved and I jumped at it. I get a buzz out of seeing kids doing really well and with my experience of multi-disciplined eventing I felt I could help them get the best out of themselves and help develop their motor skills.

Have you done any mentoring/anything similar before?

I’ve done conditioning coaching with a few kids in various different sports - ice-hockey, tennis and football and really enjoyed it. They seemed to be motivated by it and I enjoyed doing it – maybe it because I’m a big kid at heart!

What was the overall standard of the participants like?

Exceptional – every one of the four countries had national/international level athletes and it showed when we got down to the competition – they were all very competent.

Tell us a bit about your team.

My Team England were an inspiring mix of determination, competitive spirit and enormous talent, all with big hearts. I’m really proud of them all – they gave everything to every competition and were awe-inspiring throughout.

If you’d had the chance as a teenager, would you have taken part in USD?

No, I didn’t have the confidence or self-belief that these kids have at that age. They have my ultimate respect. During the two week process I not only treated them as my team mates but also as my equals.

What’s the most important benefit that sport has given you?

Confidence and self-belief – two things that you need in life to achieve most things.

What kind of opportunity do you think USD affords to the youngsters taking part?

It’s given them an opportunity to highlight their individual skills against other sporting disciplines which ultimately will benefit them in the long run.

Did you enjoy the experience?

Yes, just a little bit! At first glance I didn’t know what to expect but having experienced it I would honestly say I’d do it again in a heartbeat. The competition was great, the kids are awesome, it was a fantastic couple of weeks. The highlight of my 2011.

Any particular favourite moments or favourite activity/event?

The more I think about this the more favourite moments I have. Two of my favourite events were the Push-of-War which was just an epic display of determination and the England v Scotland Bungee Basketball was an amazing competition.

How did you get on with the other mentors? Were you all ferociously competitive? Who was more competitive – the young people or the four of you?

The mentors were definitely more competitive – because we wanted our teams to produce their best performances – I think it surprised all the mentors quite how competitive we got.

Barry is a living legend, Christian I already knew and Sinead was just fab - we all got on really well and it was great that we all had the same attitude towards the competition.

What do you hope will come from the series for the young people taking part and for viewers at home?

My hope for the kids that took part is that it helps their confidence and self-belief to go on to the dizzy heights that Barry, Sinead, Christian and I achieved. And for the kids at home, I hope they are inspired to get involved in sport at any level.