Monthly Archives: October 2014

5 Minutes With … Freestyle Footballer Colin Nell

Professional Football Freestyler Colin Nell

Professional Football Freestyler Colin Nell

Media Entertainer and Football Freestyler, COLIN NELL recently performed at the Daytrippers Pan-Disability Football Tournament where he wowed the kids and adults alike.  He is undoubtedly an incredible talent; but what sets him apart from other expert freestylers is his desire to also help others and his innate ability to make people and children feel at ease.  The Londoner began his career in 2000 after being spotted by Nike Executives and the rest is history.   A quick google search brings you to his countless advertisements, videos, performances and promotions.  He is a resounding success and headed for more.  Do check out a few performances from Mr. Nell HERE and prepare to be impressed.

We Are Daytrippers are very happy to have his contribution in the 5 Minutes With section!

The Daytrippers Team:  Did you have a role model or mentor as a child?  

Colin Nell:  Growing up I used to really look up to sporting heroes. My first hero mentor was my father as he always played sports and encouraged me to do my best.  I always wanted to show him how good I was, however, the older I got I found many others to look up to. Firstly, Zinadine Zidane who I met in 2013, there were others such as Prince Naseem Hamed (boxer), Linford Christie (athlete), and also Muhammad Ali. However, even up to date I draw inspiration from so many influential people who I like to model myself on.DANCING WITH FIREFLIES_preview (2)

The Daytrippers Team:  What is your creative talent?

Colin Nell:   I would like to think I have many talents however most obvious is my freestyle football skills. The best way to cultivate it is to work hard and perfect this craft in as many ways as possible. This can be done through eating well and training to stay in shape, mentally staying focused and having a goal I would like to achieve with it – and finally having a lifestyle balance that allows this be worked into my daily routine and life. One must always have a goal or target to aim for or his work is never fully reached or obtained!

The Daytrippers Team:  What motivates or inspires you to be creative?

Colin Nell:  I have to say that I draw inspiration from so many people such as speakers, leaders, sportsmen and also my family. I have a desire to achieve so many things and often look towards those who have done something that has never been done before them such as putting the man on the moon, the tall sky-scrapers we see everyday and also the advances mankind has made.  Seeing my family and friends enjoy my success and the fruits it brings spurs me on the achieve higher everyday.

The Daytrippers Team:  Have you had experience with disabled or terminally-ill people?

Colin Nell:  Yes I have worked many times with the disabled; mainly in a sporting environment in London, Jersey and all over the UK. I have also run freestyle football sessions for terminally-ill children at UCLH hospital in London which was very rewarding for me and the patients.

Colin Nell working with Daytrippers kids in 2014

Colin Nell working with Daytrippers kids in 2014

The Daytrippers Team:  Do you have any advice for children who are currently facing difficulties?

Colin Nell:  I would say that we should all keep the faith always. We constantly get tested and face many difficulties however we must also think of those who are less fortunate then us. Showing patience and gratitude for what we have also helps massively. Many times in life we find it so hard to make sense of the world we live in however after every hardship always comes ease. Life is far too short and we must make the most of every second we have as we have one life and must live it well!

The Daytrippers Team:  Would you share a challenge in your life?

Colin Nell:  Back in 2004 I went to play football in Barcelona on trial for Columbus Crew FC an American MLS team. Whilst I was there, an unfortunate fall out with the management where some disagreed that I should have been invited to play. Whilst I was there I also became sick from Hepatitis A through seafood which wasn’t cleaned properly. I ended up leaving early to come home due to sickness which took 2 weeks in hospital as well as no football team to play for. This also effected me with freestyle football as Vodafone UK wanted me to shoot a commercial for them which I also lost out on because I was ill. I was very down and of course ill at the time however I quickly learnt in life that I had to be patient and also mentally stronger as I believe everything happens for a reason. My faith as a Muslim and support from my family and friends helped me so much and I will never forget this. I had to come back stronger and later on I am pleased to say that I ended up bettering myself and had bigger and better opportunities!

The Daytrippers Team:  Who is currently your role model?

Colin Nell:   My current role model is the Prophet Muhammad. As a Muslim I use his example in many ways to help improve my lifestyle – however ones that are still living; Sir Jackie Stewart (motor racing) who has become a very good friend, Muhammad Ali (boxer) who has had an amazing career and been through so many hardships. That would be great to meet him one day.

The Daytrippers Team:  Thank you so much Colin.

Colin Nell freestyling in front of Tower Bridge

Colin Nell freestyling in front of Tower Bridge

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MY STORY: Jayant Mistry “So, What’s Stopping you?”

International Wheelchair Tennis professional Jayant Mistry.

International Wheelchair Tennis professional Jayant Mistry.

JAYANT MISTRY, winner of the Wheelchair Men’s Doubles Championship at Wimbledon in 2005 who spent 20 years as an international tennis professional, retired in 2007 winning a total of 68 international career titles.  He passes the time now by preparing to help run the European Karate Championship held in November 2014 and juggling the Leicester Cobras wheelchair basketball season, coaching wheelchair tennis and basketball while also working part time in sports development for the English Federation of Disability Sport.  Did you follow that?  Ok, so maybe he is not retired. We certainly are not sure someone can be more active. Born with spina bifida, Mistry played sport all his life (and we do not expect him to stop any time soon).  We Are Daytrippers is honoured to feature the sportsman Mr. Mistry who ran the London 2012 Olympic tennis event and competed in the 4 Paralympic Games.

The Daytrippers Team:  Did you have a role model as a child and now as an adult?

Jayant Mistry:  My father was (and still is) my biggest role model. He came to work from India in the 50’s leaving his family behind in order to make a better life for us in the UK. He always put his family first and has kept us all close throughout his life.

At school my teacher (Mr Moore) was also a great role model. He would join in with us at sport and actively encourage us to push ourselves out of our comfort zone by doing new and challenging things.

Jayant Mistry

Jayant Mistry

The Daytrippers Team:  Do you have a creative talent apart from sport? 

Jayant Mistry:  Not really! But being sporty has taught me about goal setting, making commitments and sticking to them, being open and honest, working hard, continuously learning and developing both on and off the field of play.

The Daytrippers Team:  Would you share an experience where you had to overcome a challenge?

Jayant Mistry:  Having my foot amputated at the age of 12. I was born with Spina Bifida and have one leg longer than the other. I was developing complications with walking with leg braces but this was twisting both legs to the extent that that Dr’s recommended removing my healthy right foot to fit a prosthetic one, they convinced us that it would be better for me in the long term. It meant having 3 months off school and it took a while to adjust to but it has been worth it – both legs are much straighter now.

The Daytrippers Team:  What is a typical day-in-the-life of Jayant like?

Jayant Mistry:  Rather than a day I’ll look at a week instead – I currently work part time (3 days a week) which allows me time to get involved with voluntary roles including managing / coaching / playing for my local wheelchair basketball team (Leicester Cobras), helping the development officer for Karate in organising the European Karate championships (as well as teaching him how to play tennis!) and developing a disability sports  project in India. However I love spending time with family and friends.

Mistry  is a mentor and tutor to children.

Mistry is a mentor and tutor to children.

The Daytrippers Team:  What would you say makes you happiest?

Jayant Mistry:  Being with people I care about.

The Daytrippers Team:  You have accomplished so much and become an inspiration for many, what sports accomplishment are you most proud of?

Jayant Mistry:  In wheelchair tennis winning the inaugural Wimbledon doubles title in 2005 is the moment I look back on with most fondness. I was very fortunate to have been part of the Great Britain squad for 20 years including 4 Paralympic Games.


Mistry celebrates his wheelchair doubles championship at Wimbledon.  Photo courtesy of the BBC

Mistry celebrates his wheelchair doubles championship at Wimbledon. Photo courtesy of the BBC

The Daytrippers Team:  What is your next goal?

Jayant Mistry:  I’m still waiting for that to materialise but in the meantime, to be the best that I can be in whatever I do.

The Daytrippers Team:  What advice would you give a child who is facing difficulties?

Jayant Mistry:  A friend of mine once sent me a birthday card with a dog in a rubber ring on the front of it and the words – ‘he knows not where he’s going, for it’s the ocean that decides. It’s not the destination, it’s the glory of the ride’.

Whenever I’ve faced difficult times or decisions I’ve always asked myself ‘So, what’s stopping you?’ We can always find reasons (or should that be excuses?) not to do things but mainly it’s our own fear of the unknown that stops us from believing that we can do more.

The Daytrippers Team:  Thank you so much Jayant for your contribution.

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