Shane was speaking at the ImagineAction event I attended on Saturday 13 March 2010 in Donaghmore, County Tyrone. He told me that he always saw himself as a sportsman first, but nobody can argue that his success as a singer has been second-best. This makes him my new Rio Ferdinand whose talent as both a dancer and footballer continues to influence his career (just watch the Sport Relief piece if you don’t believe me).
ImagineAction is an Inspire project that sums up, for me, what London 2012 is all about. Talented young sports people are being given the opportunity to develop their talents from the pitch to the stage and go beyond their personal best. This project, part of the Legacy Trust UK Connections Programme, is one of the best examples so far of Baron de Coubertin’s vision for “the marriage of sport and art” and I recommend you check it out.
I’m re-inspired by their talent and hard work and love their very original and witty take on how sport and art come together.
I last saw them all back in October 2009 at the launch and can report that their confidence as performers has definitely grown. As well as a reprise of their signature dance piece inspired by sport (the NI Bobsleigh Team goes from strength to strength), we were treated to some breathtaking singing talent. Louis Walsh was there and seemed extremely keen that several of the performers make singing their career.
Do I bang on about this too much? Does anyone really still think that the arts and sport are completely separate and have nothing in common?
I was interested to see commentary on the BBC site during the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver about the similarities between ballet and aerials in terms of self-expression and artistic interpretation. Ever since Torville and Dean, most people see the Ice Dance as both sport and art, and may I draw your attention to the synchronised swimming and gymnastics in the summer Games?