Baroness Susan Campbell

From PE teacher to Baroness for Susan Campbell

02 May 2012

A PE teacher who has become one of the most influential campaigners for sport in this country, City & Guilds Honorary Fellow, Baroness Susan Campbell believes everyone is a winner.

I started teaching at an all girls school in Manchester in the 1970s…

At my first lesson, I was waiting in the gym and no one turned up. Then I heard a noise in the toilets, and there was my class all having a cigarette. They had a strong ringleader, and she told me they did not like sport because it broke their nails.

When I asked what they liked doing, they said dancing. So I brought along some music for the next lesson and we began to dance. Under the ringleader’s guidance, they became a very accomplished dance troupe and she moved from troublemaker to an accomplished professional.


It was those early experiences that helped me get a real insight into the power of sport to change lives…

Understanding how it can help young people to develop their self-esteem and feelings of self-worth so they can achieve in life, irrespective of their sporting ability.

In my experience, sport in the right hands can be a powerful tool to influence health, education, community cohesion and life skills.


We started the Youth Sport Trust in 1995…

I was often asked how long it would take to get people to understand that sport can be a positive driver for young people’s education and well-being.

I said that it would only happen if we transformed the lives of young people themselves because they are tomorrow’s leaders – it’s generational. Now, exciting young coaches and ambassadors are making a huge difference across the country.


As Chair of UK Sport, I’ve been striving to ensure that we have the best UK teams for our Olympics and Paralympics at the 2012 Olympics…

Our funding comes from both exchequer and National Lottery and we are facing one of the toughest economic climates ever, so things are challenging.

Does the pressure sometimes get too much? Yes, some days it’s tough, but the moment you talk to a young person or an athlete you bounce back.


We have to appreciate that every young person has their own dreams and can achieve their own personal level of excellence…

The great thing about City & Guilds is the breadth and depth of qualifications. Everyone has a gift and finding that gift is down to teachers and parents.

City & Guilds therefore has a huge role to play in helping a wide range of individuals attain qualifications and achieve their own personal goals.


Our research reveals that three quarters of young people demand skills-based training to achieve their ambitions Read full research article