Team GB double Olympic champion Max Whitlock has met his toughest competition yet – after he was grilled by a group of school children

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 1:52 pm

The five-time medallist was put through his paces by pairs of four-, five- and six-year-olds he was meant to be talking to about their career goals for the future.

However, the kids had other plans – hilariously asking him how much money he had in the bank and cheering him on to do a handstand.

When Max was able to keep the youngsters, from Kingston Primary School, Essex, on-task, he found kids with big dreams, including several that wanted to be firefighters, and a host of budding future vets.

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Tokyo Olympic Games

The video was created by Birds Eye Green Cuisine, the official plant-based supporter of Team GB for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games which start on 23rd July.

At 28, Max is the most successful British artistic gymnast in history, winning two golds and three bronze medals at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics.

Max said: “It’s been a brilliant day finding out what kids are hoping to do when they’re older.

“It was great to see so many want to do jobs that help others – like being a vet, a doctor or a firefighter.

“I’m so lucky in that I’ve been able to live my dream job – it’s what I’ve always wanted to do and one of the things I’ve spoken to the kids about is the importance of the right diet to give you the fuel and power to succeed.

“The food I eat I believe plays a major part in preparing well in my profession. A flexitarian diet enables me to eat healthily, whilst getting the fuel I need to perform – so I’d encourage any youngster to do the same give themselves every chance of achieving their goals.”

Career Aspirations

Birds Eye also commissioned research of 1,000 parents and their school-age children to see how career aspirations can change over time.

It found three quarters of adults have gone down a different career path from the ‘dream job’ they had as a child.

But 53 per cent of regret not doing more to follow their dream.

As a result, 78 per cent think it’s important to help their children follow their own life goals.

And nine in 10 feel they are doing ‘everything they can’ to help their kids do just that.

Of the 1,000 6 to 16-year-olds polled, the top dream job was revealed to be a scientist, picked by nearly one in 10.

Max Whitlock at Kingston Primary School, Benfleet, Essex, 18th June 2021

An athlete in a team sport was second on the list, such as being a footballer, cricketer or rugby player, while a doctor was third.

Happily, nearly eight in 10 (78 per cent) believe their parents support them all the way in following their dreams.

Another 40 per cent said watching people live their dreams at big events like the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games makes them more determined to follow their own goals.

It also emerged seven in 10 kids think it’s important to consume healthy food to help them work hard and be the best they can be, according to the OnePoll research.

Sarah Koppens, spokesperson for Birds Eye Green Cuisine, which aims to show kids and adults how plant-based foods can help power athletes, added: “Max is a perfect example of someone who grew up with a real passion for something, in his case gymnastics, and coupled with his commitment and determination, he was able to turn it into a dream come true.

“We want to help inspire the next generation of young people and help them believe in the extraordinary.”