Through media and advertising the very image of an athlete whether it be in training or competitive events invokes thoughts of ambition and determination. As the Olympics have come to a close we as a society should hope that the games have provided the British youth with a reminder of their capabilities.
The negative stereotype of an unruly youth, which is often perpetuated through the media, was challenged as we saw athletes as young as 15 years old competing for their country. With the largest age group of Team GB's medalists being 25-29, it is evident that we still live in a society where young people can work hard and pursue their aspirations.
Roughly one year prior to the Olympic Games our TVs and newspapers were bombarded by images of hooded youths committing acts of widespread rioting, looting and arson across the UK. Although youths were not the only participants, the London riots of 2011 played a detrimental role in the perception of young people.
With most participants claiming to be a victim of circumstances, the riots highlighted an important underlying problem with regards to the self-esteem of the young generation. With decisions to raise tuition fees announced in 2010 and youth unemployment hitting 1.02 million in November last year, the youth soon became recognised as a 'lost generation'.
If there is one lesson that we as a generation can learn from these athletes, it is that all young people have the potential to succeed and deliver their personal best. British gold medal-winning athletes such as Jessica Ennis (aged 26) and Mo Farah (aged 29) delivered outstanding performances which have already inspired a nation of youngsters and left them feeling hopeful. It is likely that the events of the past couple of weeks have prompted a "can do" attitude amongst young people which may encourage them to explore their own skills and seek out their niche in life.
Some commentators have spoken about the effects of the Olympics on young people in terms of encouraging their involvement in sports. Others speak of the immense sense of achievement that young people have acquired by participating in specialised community programmes.
Personally, I would like to believe that the sheer passion and hard work of young competing athletes alone would convince young people that they too can achieve success through persistency and hard work.
At Enpower C.I.C - a social enterprise that builds confidence amongst young people and assists them with entering careers in the creative industries - we run an ambassador programme to encourage young talent to represent the organisation and take on specialised roles built around their area of expertise. By adopting this youth-led method we believe that more young people will feel encouraged to pursue their aspirations if they see their peers doing the same.
It is one thing to tell someone what they can achieve but when you can relate to them on a certain level you can lead by example. For this reason the achievements of the young Olympic medallists should be recognised as a platform for youth empowerment, which has provided young people with an element of hope for their future.
Follow Mayowa Anthea Adebiyi on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AntheamodelUK