Think Real is a new Get Set + programme that aims to support young people in building healthy, well-rounded habits. Developed with Sport England and UK Anti-doping, with support from the English Institute of Sport, the programme aims to inspire young people aged 11–16 to make healthy, informed decisions.

At the heart of the Think Real programme are three short films that discuss the everyday issues and choices faced by young students and sportspeople related to their recovery, nutrition and activity habits. These films were developed with young people, for young people. Taking inspiration from the real-life stories of the films participants, their friends and peers, the stories open up many different questions for discussion, creating an opportunity for us all to reflect on the everyday choices we make.

We caught up with some of the films' participants, Aimee, Terry and Zepora, to find out more about their stories, filming, and what Think Real means to them.

How did the stories or characters resonate with you?

Zepora: “In some perspective, all of the characters resonated with me. My character was motivated and enjoyed running but also enjoyed encouraging others to do the same which I personally feel are characteristics I also obtain. Ottis’ character I resonate with because before running I also faced similar issues, not entirely sure with myself and doubting myself a lot, but also finding comfort in the support from friends which pushed me to run. Lastly Aimee’s character, not only me but also a lot of young people can relate to, especially as an A-Level student. It is easy for teens to go to unhealthy habits for the sake of work (for example). Being surrounded by the right people is what helps me, and most likely others, come out of these habits and learn how to approach situations in a more positive, healthy way.”

Aimee: “Similarly, I related to my character as I knew how they would be feeling as I had just gone through revising and taking my GCSE's, working late into the night on a regular basis and was always tired and stressed.”

Terry: “As a student trying to balance my sport with studying and an active social life, I felt I could strongly identify with the role of the young adult struggling to make the choice between maintaining a healthy diet and eating junk food on a night out with his friends. I have been in exactly the same position many times myself. I believe that while it's important to live a healthy lifestyle, both in terms of exercise and nutrition, it is also vital to give yourself a break from time to time to keep yourself mentally fresh and to avoid getting overwhelmed, and this was one of the messages that the film was aiming to promote.”

Why did you want to take part in Think Real?  

Terry: “I decided that taking part in the programme would allow me to help other young people around the country who find themselves in the same situations as me to make the right choice. It turned out to be a good decision – I had a great time filming and felt satisfied to know that I was promoting a worthwhile cause.”

Zepora: “Me too! The reason I decided to join this programme is because of the message it is displaying.”

Aimee: “Same for me. I wanted to be part of this as I enjoy acting and going to the gym and wanted to use this to relay a positive message to young people and hope I could help them in some way.”

Did you enjoy taking part in the filming?

Aimee: “I really enjoyed taking part. I love acting and enjoyed working with the other actors, crew and production team – everyone was really nice.” 

Zepora: "It was extremely fun, I haven’t done any acting before, so being given the opportunity to try something new and meet new people, whilst all sharing a common goal/interest in promoting healthy lifestyles and wellbeing was very inspiring!”

Terry: “Yes! It was a fun experience just to take part in a project like this because it was a real change from the sorts of things I usually get involved in.”

Finally, what did the programme mean to you? 

Aimee: “I was glad to be part of something interesting and delivering a positive message to young people and hopefully making them think about what they may be offered to take and to see what it is before taking it and know that just clean hard work is the best way to achieve what you want in life. The programme ensures young people know they have choices, as these can be difficult to make when you are young. Young people are under a lot of pressure to achieve in education and can make bad choices if they are not guided in the right direction.”

Zepora: “Fundamentally to me the program is encouraging the youth to partake in sports and physical activity, presenting the many benefits that come from it. But what makes this programme extra special to me is that the benefits presented aren’t purely based on exercise or being fit, but also taking care of yourself mentally, building relationships with friends and using sport as an outlet to express ourselves which to me are equally as important.”

Thank you to Aimee, Terry and Zepora for your thoughts and work on the project!

You can find out more, and start exploring the Think Real resources at getset.co.uk/think-real