By: Ben Patterson
An Olympic year is always an incredible spectacle to watch, as athletes from every corner of the globe gather in one country for two weeks of competition. Emotions from both the spectators and athletes run high as limits are pushed in order to take home the gold.
But what drives these athletes? Many do not get paid for their performance. In fact Olympic athletes from Britain have to get sponsorship in order to train full time.
Instead of money as the motivation, it is self. Some may want success, some might want to prove themselves, and some may want to inspire.
When the UK hosted the Olympics in 2012 the main aim was to inspire a generation, to get more people interested in these sports, and although there is a strong debate as to whether 2012 achieved this, you can still feel part of that excitement and inspiration now as people sit down to watch the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
When I think back to those weeks after 2012 I saw such a change in peoples lifestyles. People joined rowing clubs and swimming clubs, while others took up running or cycling.
I was even motivated to run in the Cardiff half marathon just a few months after the Olympics that year. One thing I’ll never forget is seeing the hordes of runners at the start line with me getting ready to go. Most of them wore a shirt or vest supplied by the charity they were supporting.
Even after all this time, whenever I’m at a sporting event and I see someone in a charity shirt I cannot help but smile. These are people who have committed to a training regime to prepare for the event and have also used their own free time to raise money for a cause. Whenever I asked people why they often raced for charity I was often met with the same answer, that it gave their sports and activities a cause to fight for. Allowing them to help a cause they are passionate about whilst also beating their own personal barriers was their motivation.
With RAG re-launching this year I felt it was important to visit our motivations for completing these challenges, whether raising money or defeating personal barriers. Everyone’s motivation will be unique to them. If you want a cause to push you further or have experience with a charity you wish to help, motivation is everywhere and in everyone.