Real-life childhood heroes help workers to find career success – including teachers and sports coaches, survey finds

ALMOST half of Brits think they owe their career success to a real-life childhood hero, according to a new survey.

For one in five, that person was a teacher, while 17 per cent said it was their sports coach.

While 13 per cent said that hero was a pal supporting them over the years.

But parents or parental figures came out on top, with 19 per cent of respondents saying they would not be where they are without them.

Almost three quarters of respondents even claimed their childhood hero went "the extra mile” to give them valuable opportunities to become a success.

The survey also revealed a quarter of Brits feel mentors supporting early life activities played a crucial role in achieving career success later in life.

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While 42 per cent of adults would even like their own children or children in their life to take part in the same activities as they did.

Becoming a professional sports player or athlete, teacher or doctor were among the top childhood dreams Brits had.

Incredibly, three-quarters of respondents said one of their childhood dreams came true at some point in their life.

And 68 per cent said their childhood hero helped them achieve that dream.

Dream come true

Brits’ top 10 childhood dreams:

  1. Becoming a professional sports player or athlete
  2. Becoming a teacher
  3. Becoming a doctor
  4. Becoming a scientist
  5. Becoming a nurse
  6. Becoming an astronaut
  7. Becoming a recording artist
  8. Becoming an artist
  9. Becoming a lawyer
  10. Becoming an actor

The study also found confidence (14 per cent), communication skills (12 per cent) and organisation (12 per cent) were the top skills people picked up from their childhood hero.

And almost half still use those skills in their adult life.

While two-thirds are still in touch with their childhood hero, highlighting the long-standing role a role model plays in life.

And four in 10 feel Britain could do more to recognise those special people who make a difference to someone's life.

Role models


  1. Confidence
  2. Communication
  3. Organisation
  4. Independence
  5. Proactivity

Rebecca Adamson, head of automobile at Honda said: “We’re all dreamers and sometimes we just need the right person in our life to inspire and guide us towards our goals."

The study of 2,000 adults by OnePoll was commissioned by Honda.

In response to the findings, Honda has unveiled a video of young rugby players and their local heroes at Southwark Tigers rugby club, London.

Laurence Danvers, coach at Southwark Tigers said: “Whether they end up pursuing rugby as a career or keep it as a hobby, what they learn about being part of a team such as resilience, respect, confidence and commitment…

"These are all things that will help them achieve their dreams.” 

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