David Beckham ambassador for newly-launched Sky Academy
David Beckham appointed as an ambassador to the Sky Academy which launched this week.
Last Updated: 06/11/13 9:36am
The former England captain, who won six Premier League titles with Manchester United, is delighted to join Sky's new initiative and says he hopes to play a major part in inspiring the next generation of young talent.
He says it is important for young people to make the most of the opportunities they are given and is delighted to be able to assist youngsters to take advantage of such chances through the Academy.
Beckham - who made 115 appearances for England - said: "Mentors and role models have always been important to me.
"When I was young, they helped me to believe in myself and gave me the confidence to follow my dreams. That's what Sky Academy will do and I'm excited to be a part of it.
"It's not just about the sports, it's about TV, it's about the arts, it's about creating opportunities for young children and giving children the opportunity to become better people, better personalities and giving them a good chance in life."
Athletes Jessica Ennis-Hill and Darren Campbell have also been named as ambassadors with the Academy.
Ennis, the reigning Olympic heptathlon champion, said: "It's an incredible project that is going to encourage and inspire so many kids around the country.
"I've been in sport my whole life and it's given me so many things, so for me to be able to give something back to some of the kids around the country - it's just incredible and a real honour to be part of it.
"I think it's so important to have role models and mentors," she added. "To have those people you can look up to and not just see from afar - it's a great opportunity for them."
The academy's ambitious plans are 'to create opportunities for up to one million young people by 2020'.
BSkyB chief executive Jeremy Darroch outlined the plans on Tuesday saying: "Building skills and nurturing talent are vital not just for business success but for society as a whole.
"A generation has been born since Sky's launch and, as we look ahead to our 25th anniversary next year, we want to use our position as a successful company to support young people across Britain and Ireland.
"Sky Academy will create exciting opportunities to inspire young people and help them build skills and experience.
"We'll use our strengths as a leading media and technology company, and work with inspirational role models to get people involved and make a lasting impact."
Sky Academy's opportunities for young people will include skills studios in Livingston, Leeds, Dublin and London that provide an interactive, curriculum-based learning experience that uses the latest technology to build children's life skills.
Also involved are scholarship schemes - to provide mentoring and financial support for emerging talent - a comprehensive range of work experience and employment opportunities at Sky for secondary school students through to graduates, plus a new programme giving teenagers the opportunity to spend a day at Sky for a hands-on experience of the world of work.
The Sky Academy is the latest initiative from a company that unveiled the Sky Sports Living for Sport project which came into existence a few years ago.
One-third of British secondary schools already participate in this initiative which has recently been extended to Ireland and will immediately merge with the new Sky Academy.