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Summer Edition 2017

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INTERVIEW Although her school days are long behind her, Clare still remembers “the terror of changing into mufti at weekends”, and has some very sound advice for her younger self that schoolgirls would do well to heed: “Think less about what other people think and more about who you want to be. If you were going to describe yourself in adjectives, what would you want to be described as? Do you want to be kind? Do you want to be thoughtful? Energetic? Generous, ambitious, competitive? Don’t think: ‘I want to have long straight hair and all the latest clothes.’ That is not who you are and that is not how you will be remembered.” It is comments such as these that explain why Clare has become one of today’s most influential female role models. She is constantly flying the flag for women in sport and beyond, and has big aspirations. “In 10 years’ time I would like to open the sports pages of any newspaper and for it to be genuinely balanced.” She believes women’s football holds the key and is hugely excited to start covering it. “Football is the biggie because so many people do it. It is going to reach a tipping point very soon where interest multiplies exponentially.” She is hopeful that it could go on the kind of journey that the Paralympics went on under her watch. “The more people that know about it, the more stories we can tell, the more familiar we can get people with the players, the more people will enjoy it and be interested.” And who better than Clare Balding to make that a reality? The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop is out now in paperback, (£6.99 Puffin Books) available in stores or online. i Getting children to go for a walk can be like pulling teeth. Luckily, with 17 years’ worth of Ramblings around the countryside under her belt for her Radio 4 series, Clare has some great tips to keep everyone moving in the right direction: ★ Do things in chunks, like the Cotswold Way or the Thames Path: “It might be five miles the first time, then next weekend you do the next five. They love being able to say, ‘We’ve done all that.’” ★ Do a well-known walk and research landmarks beforehand: “For example, you’ve got all those castles on the North East Coastal path. Get them to find out five facts about each. That’s really fun.” ★ Focus on bird and tree identification: “Children love trees. I do a bit of help with the Woodland Trust and getting kids feeling responsible for trees, recognising different types, knowing what’s evergreen, what’s not, what comes out early, what doesn’t, is great.” ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Aci! If live broadcasting is on your child’s career radar, then there’s no time like the present, according to Clare. “These days, there’s so much you can do to make yourself a really good broadcaster before you even get to secondary school. Clare’s Homework: Write up a school event as a 250-word report, then write it up as a 500-word report, then try and do a 40-second voice piece. Work out how many words you need (usually three words per second), and deliver it. You can film on an iPhone, then edit on a laptop or iPad. SUMMER 17 ★ 15


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