Ultimate Sports Day

Ultimate Sports Day storms out of the blocks on CBBC

Scotland – Sinead Kerr

Category: CBBC
Sinead Kerr started roller-skating aged 8 and began figure skating a year later. She first trained as a singles skater before taking up ice dance when she was 15. Sinead teamed up with her younger brother John and The Kerrs finished second at their first British Nationals in 2000 and were on the podium every year afterwards. They have taken part in shows around the world and are among the most popular ice dance teams currently performing.

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

I was asked to try-out to be a mentor for Scotland and as soon as I heard the concept of the show, I wanted to get involved. I loved the idea of promoting sport and an athletic lifestyle to younger people.

Have you done any mentoring before?

I have coached youngsters in skating before so had some experience of working with them, but I have never done anything where everything I say and do is caught on TV camera! Also, I have never had the pressure of being in charge of a group before or working in a team environment, as mine is an individual sport.

What was the overall standard of the participants like?

It was very high and only improved as the show went on. I think they found - through participating in the show - that they were capable of more than they thought.

Tell us a bit about your team

My final team was made up of 4 strong athletes who worked well together as a group and most importantly had strong, positive, outgoing attitudes. We all bonded and they always listened and reacted well to what I said.

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

I would definitely have taken part - I was jealous of them having so much competitive fun in the final games!

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

Sport teaches you many things: how to live a healthy lifestyle, how to cope with pressure, to have patience, understanding of how the body works. There is nothing like the adrenalin rush of competing in front of a crowd. Sport gives you positive energy.

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

I think USD pushes young athletes to extremes they never knew they had. It lets them experience things they never knew they could do and they feel proud of what they achieve. It also is fun for them being in a team environment - competing for their country and with athletes from other sports who they may never have come across. Meeting the top athletes who are part of the show is also inspirational to them.

Did you enjoy the experience?

A lot - more than I thought I would. The youngsters from all 4 teams were great and really fun to work with. Also for me, meeting and getting to know the other mentors was fantastic. I got to watch a boxing match with Barry McGuigan sitting beside me telling me what was going on!

Any particular favourite moments or favourite activity/event?

I enjoyed the relay event at the end as it was interesting seeing the team really work together.

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 all bonded really well and although there was a bit of competition we all cared so much about all the kids that we were happy for whichever team to win. Because I was the only female mentor and a bit of a newcomer to TV work, the guys looked out for me and were all really sweet. We got into the show so much and spent many meals talking tactics! I made three good friends and learned a lot from them.

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

I hope that the series will encourage young people to take up any sport - whether to compete, have fun, stay healthy or just try something new. For the youngsters who were involved, I hope it encourages them to stay in sport and inspires them to work hard to achieve everything they are capable of. I would like to see at least one compete at a future Olympic Games and be able to say "I was a small part of that".