Roger Black, KalliKids Ambassador
About Roger Black
Roger is an Olympic Medalist.
During his running career, Roger won silver medals in the 400m in the 1996 Olympics and 1991 World Championships. He won two individual gold medals in the European Championships in 1986 and 1990.
On top of this he won gold medals in the 1991 and 1997 World Championships for the 4x400m relay.
In total, Roger has 15 medals for major senior athletics competitions.
Since retiring from athletics, Roger has worked as a television presenter and motivational speaker.
KalliKids Interview with Roger Black
How did you start doing athletics and was it as a child?
I always did lots of sport as a kid, but I mainly did football, tennis and rugby. I didn’t take up athletics untiI I was 18. I was always running around as a child though. At 18 I was re-taking my a-levels so joined Southampton Athletics Club. From then everything happened really quickly.
What do you think athletics and sport gave you as a child then as an adult?
Doing sport as a child gave me passion, a hobby, health, understanding of success and failure, focus, being good at something, and never being bored.
Running as an adult became my career and livelihood, and even now I am still making a living speaking about my running.
Aside from this running was vital in giving me focus, passion and great friends and relationships.
How many children do you have now?
I have three children - a daughter and 9-year-old twin boys .
What activities do your children like and do you want them to be athletes?
The twins attend theatre groups and cub scouts. I would like them to do what ever they are passionate about and what they enjoy. It is important that they try lots of different things and eventually they will find something they enjoy the most.
In what ways is it important for young people to be involved in groups and clubs?
I think it is crucial and has never been more important as we live in a completely different world to the one I grew up in. We are facing continuous competition with electronics, screen, ipads etc. When I was younger you could not get me to stay in the house. Now we struggle to get kids out because they have 24/7 entertainment with TV and electronics. Kids need to get out and socialise.
What one piece of advice do you have for mums and dads out there?
My one piece of advice would be to encourage your children to participate in activities, but always let them choose what they want to do. When they find something they like, grab it and celebrate it. Kids needs to try different things but don’t spread their activities too wide because then they will go from one thing to another without reflecting on and committing to what they are doing. They won’t learn to do things properly.
Roger's chosen children's charity is Action for AT.
AT stands for Ataxia-Telangiectasia.
Action for AT raises funds to support research to help children who develop AT and their families. AT is a very complex condition that affects a variety of different systems in the body so research into A-T can also give insights into common conditions like cancer, compromised immune system and lung conditions and health generally.
Roger is Patron of Action for AT.