When footballer Marcus Rashford successfully led a campaign to encourage the UK government to provide free school meals to children throughout the summer holidays, it demonstrated the wider impact sports personalities can have when they positively use their status and power.
Interested in the influence of sports stars, GolfSupport.com surveyed 1,644 parents from across the UK to discover the sports personalities they think are the best role models for their children.
Given his recent plaudits on and off the football pitch, Marcus Rashford gets a thumbs up from 84% of parents as an exemplary role model for children.
Meaning the dynamic England and Manchester United forward ranks number one.
In second position is Roger Federer. An astonishing 77% of parents view the calm and polite Swiss as an ideal role model for kids. When you consider his charitable work, such as helping to improve the basic quality of education in Africa, it’s easy to see why he is highly regarded on and off the tennis court.
72% of parents believe Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill is a good role model for their children. Her drive, energy and dedication to track and field are the desirable characteristics they would like their kids to have towards their education and extracurricular activities.
In fourth spot is Cristiano Ronaldo. Often associated with being egoistic and self-centered, 70% of parents certainly don’t view the Portuguese maestro that way. Instead, they appreciate his desire to be the best footballer and win as many accolades as possible.
Likewise, they recognise his generous nature – highlighted most recently by Ronaldo giving £1 million to hospitals in Portugal to help fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Four-time Olympic gold medalist Sir Mo Farah is fifth on the list. 65% of parents think the most successful British track athlete is a worthy role model for kids to look up to.
Furthermore, over 60% of parents feel like Serena Williams (63%) is a good role model for children.
These parents are particularly fond of her determined and focused nature. Additionally, they are complimentary of Serena’s role as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
On the other end, are two British sports stars with a respectable approval rating from parents: Two-time Wimbledon champion Sir Andy Murray (52%) and diving sensation Tom Daley (49%).
Some of the positive characteristics/traits’ parents most associate with each sports personality:
- Marcus Rashford: Caring, proud, resourceful
- Roger Federer: Polite, humble, respectful, winner
- Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill: Dedicated, energetic, driven, gracious
- Cristiano Ronaldo: Generous, hardworking, leader
- Sir Mo Farah: Positive, well-mannered, thoughtful
- Serena Williams: Determined, winner, enthusiastic
- Usain Bolt: Happy, charismatic, winner
- Lionel Messi: Resolute, confident, brave
- Sir Andy Murray: Disciplined, humble, courageous
- Tom Daley: Calm, positive, thoughtful