I'd Like To Thank My Dad...

14/08/2014 17:00 | Updated 20 May 2015

Son is arm wrestling with his dad

Not many people had heard of Richard Kilty before this year's World Indoor Championships; his name wasn't even mentioned as a possible contender for a gold medal. However, on 8th March, he gave himself a voice by beating world-class opposition to win the 60m race and achieve the title of World Champion.

In his post-race interview, Kilty spoke of when he had told his father that one day he would be a world champion. This wasn't the first time he mentioned his dad, however; in total he speaks of his father four times in an interview clip which lasts just over a minute.

You can tell that every mention of his dad is wrapped in pride, his words gushing. For example: the interviewer encourages Kilty to praise Linford Christie, who coached him to success.

"Well, the biggest praise ever, to be honest, has been my dad," replies Kilty. "He's helped me since I was 10 years old...I have him to thank for the past 13 years."

Take a bow, Richard Kilty's father. Here is a man who stood by his son through the bad times as well as the good, who inspired and encouraged him to achieve incredible things. As a father myself, watching this interview, and seeing how proud Kilty is of his dad, I can't help but wonder how much of an impact I am having on my children's lives.

How much am I encouraging them, urging them to do what they love, despite what I might think about it? How much do I get involved in their dreams, however small they may be at such a young age? And just how proud of me are they?

At the moment, my children are too young to have formed a solid idea of what they want to do with their lives; but my eldest, at six years old, is only a few short years away from really getting a feel for the direction in which he wants to go.

When he does, it's down to me as his parent to support him as much as I can; not letting my own prejudices or opinions cloud my judgement, but recognising that my role is to be the person he can lean on and get encouragement from.

And, if I have to make sacrifices, then so be it. Not only would Kilty's father have devoted time to his son, but money as well, energy, life. Imagine the overwhelming pride he must have felt when he saw his son cross the finish line and have a gold medal placed around his neck. In that moment, everything he gave would have been worth it, tenfold.


Maybe that's the crux of fatherhood, that's what it's all about. It's about driving your child to achieve goals greater than your own, spurring them on in their dreams even if it means getting up before dawn in the depths of winter. It's about giving your child the encouragement to carry on when everyone else is telling them it can't be done.


And, ultimately, it's having such a profound impact on their lives that one day, when they may be asked to credit their success to a famed celebrity, they look at the reporter in the eye and say: "No, actually. It's all down to my dad."


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