Fabulous Flournoy, esteemed Head Coach and player of Newcastle Eagles basketball team, has shared his thoughts on paving the way for young people in sports.
Speaking at the launch of a brand new student fitness centre at Newcastle College University Centre in April, Fabulous reflected on the importance of grassroots sports and being a positive role model for upcoming athletes.
“It’s hugely important for me to be involved in grassroots sports, it’s the future, the next generation,” he said.
The Eagles, who have recently moved into their brand new purpose-built Eagles Community Arena, have established a unique partnership with their neighbours at Newcastle College.
The relationship benefits a number of students, offering study and participation spaces within the new facility, whilst match night catering is provided by hospitality students. It is hoped that as the relationship develops, those in the local community will be able to reap the rewards of access to education through sport.
Fabulous feels that engaging with the students is an important part of his role in that partnership. He continues, “This is what my generation missed out on – all the positive role models. Not the ones you see on TV or social media, but the instructors, the teachers, the coaches, the people who work within the industry.
“I think being there, particularly in grassroots, so that they can see you and they can ask questions, that’s hugely important.
“For me it’s about being there and having the students be able to have face time, so they can actually see you and they can see that they can accomplish the things they want to in their lives.”
The one-to-one engagement that Fabulous likes to have with students is something he feels is a skill that young people should be working on, especially if they want a career in sport.
“People skills are important,” he continued. “I think a lot of students are social media and tech ready, but at the end of the day you have to be able to engage with the people you’re training, your team mates and the people you work with, so that would be a good skill to work on.”
He also reflected on his own journey and had some advice for those currently studying, saying: “Enjoy what you’re doing and be passionate about it.
“Take advantage of being a student and don’t get caught up in the future you, concentrate on the present."
Watch the full interview below: