Sarah Backovic’s Basketball column: Sporting role models motivate in and out of their arena

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Much has been made over the last few weeks about the critical impact of role models on society and in particular our young people in the wider communities.

The reality of sport and culture icons is that the responsibility on them as a role model governs their whole way of thinking and ultimately how they lead all aspects of their lives.

It doesn’t matter whether this is on or off the court, field or arenas, your decisions are paramount to the success or failure of your career.

I have mentioned in previous articles that our impact on the community is critical to the development of our sport and as such we encourage the progression routes of our athletes through higher education.

But when we reach out to our communities it cannot be done alone.

All the clubs in this fair city have their community roots supported commercially or through grant aid.

In sport, it is necessary that we include our business supporters and that we provide a suitably approved programme that can justify the corporate social responsibility of the socially conscious out there.

German-born Patrick Horstmann has come to the Sharks as the resident Euro player and in doing so has taken up the role with main sponsors B. Braun to deliver, in association with the Sharks, the ‘B. Healthy - B. Braun’ project that spans our schools and community clubs.

Patrick can often be seen walking into the school halls with two smoothie bikes in tow, getting ready to test the health of our primary school kids.

Testing their tastes for eating well and aiming to demonstrate the importance of starting health awareness at a young age.

Our sporting and cultural heroes are much more than celebrities today, they are part of the community fabric which is why it is important to take the role seriously.

The fact that Patrick and B. Braun both have their roots in Germany is no coincidence, the European model for embracing sporting principles to framework a positive mindset has long been bred.

“This is a natural role for me to play outside of basketball, I have grown up being motivated by my heroes,” said Horstmann.

“If what I’m doing with Braun can influence a young mind to be healthy, then that makes me feel I’m fulfilling my goals,”