I was truly delighted to see Mo Farah named Sports Personality of the Year over the weekend. It’s always wonderful to see people achieve based on their own talent and persistence. As a private tutor, I like to reference role models as inspirational figures for my students.
It’s important to be able evidence those that achieve at the highest level, utilising more than natural talent. Examples of our heroes that have put in years of consistent practice, and in some cases, pure dogged determination to be the best, are highly motivational.
Mo Farah’s fame and successes continue to go from strength to strength. It was the recent award that prompted the thoughts that preceded this article, but a personality award pales into insignificance compared to his track achievements.
What many people are unaware of is just how hard Mo Farah has worked to not only get to the top, but to stay there. There has been no resting upon laurels for Mo, almost from day one.
Born in Somalia, it’s fair to say he had a bumpy start in life, having relocated with his family to the UK when he was just eight years old. His early talent was spotted by his PE teacher, who guided him through his first junior competitions.
He was also spotted by a philanthropist who funded the legal fees to make Farah a naturalised UK citizen. This in turn opened to door to travel without visa challenges, enabling Mo to compete internationally.
For the most part, it’s easy to think the rest is history. However, what is easily overlooked is the sacrifice and commitment Farah demonstrated to be able to compete with the best.
He lived and breathed running, initially at St Mary’s Twickenham, before living and training with some of the best runners in the world, many of whom were Kenyan. His training also took him to Kenya to train not only with the best runners, but in their own environment, at altitude.
In essence he ran, ate, rested, ran, ate and slept most days. Farah clocked up massive mileage and gained world class speed and endurance, with the added factor of a rarefied atmosphere to deal with.
To say his tenacity has paid off is an understatement. Combining Farah’s undeniable talent and determination, with the best coaches and training partners in the world has made him an almost unstoppable force. With marathon running in Mo’s future, it may be that we have many more triumphs to witness before he hangs up his running shoes for good.
Congratulations to Mo for his continued success and what a fantastic role model he continues to be.