Introducing the 10:10:1000 challenge!

10.10.1000 challenge-01-01In August, Sported Trustee Carnegie Smyth will be taking time out of his busy role as MD at Signia Wealth to undertaking a gruelling fundraising challenge in aid of Sported.


The extreme 10:10:1000 challenge  will see Carnegie cycle 1000km  from Belfast to London,  visit 10 Sported members on-route to take part in 10 different sports, all in 10 days with no rest!


With just over a month to go to the ‘Grand Depart’ in Belfast, we catch up with Carnegie to see what inspired him and how’s it’s all going.


Carnegie SmythHow and why did you become a Trustee of Sported?

“I have known Keith for many years and followed not only his successful career as an entrepreneur but the other works he has done. As a big sports man myself, his involvement with football, Olympics and sailing always caught my eye. I was aware of his charitable endeavours and Keith talked about Sported to me  about 2 years ago. I offered help and soon after Keith invited me to join as a Trustee. It was a very easy decision.”


What role has sport played in your life?
“Sport has been a huge part of my life – as a kid playing on the village green most evenings, through to it being a huge enjoyment factor in my life and a fantastic opportunity for business. This includes playing and watching. Sport allowed me to differentiate myself as a graduate, I was better known for sport than anything else in my graduate job. It continues to be a passion, and always will. I love travelling around watching big sporting events, from rugby and football World Cups to the Olympics in Beijing and London, Wimbledon to York Hall boxing. Sport is so powerful.”


Why did you decide to undertake this fundraising challenge?

“I think I must have had a drink one night and someone caught me during a moment of weakness. I have said for many years I fancy doing a unusual challenge for a good cause. It is too easy to say ‘next year, next year’. I thought just do it and started training and here we are.”


What are you looking forward to most about the challenge?

“Finishing! In truth I am quite excited about seeing some of the country, places I have never been. Very excited to see the work that Sported does in places outside of London and engaging with the young people at the clubs each day. They will have to go easy on me though, especially the contact sports!”


How’s the training going? How are you preparing?

“I am preparing by going on a couple of stag parties. I hear that is ideal training for an endurance challenge.

On a serious note the training is fine. Rides in the gym and on the road, some gym work and my normal weekly routine. It is less about completing the distance and more about the daily recovery. The consecutive nature of the challenge is the killer. That and the butt on the bike seat.”


Which sporting and non-sporting person do you take your inspiration from?

“This is a tough question. I am incredibly lucky to have met many inspirational people in the world of sport and business. Some have become friends, clients, mentors. I enjoy listening to their stories of success and seeing what I can do better and where I can change things.


However it’s those people slightly closer to you that are real inspirations – its more real and you can relate.


Family – big mention for my sister who has inspired our family to look at the world differently, and how one person can change the world for someone else. She adopted my two nieces from West Africa.


My mates who all have a real drive to succeed (it inspires you on more and more – healthy competition) including a couple of them who toured Afghan on behalf of us all.


My clients who have built businesses from scratch. Hard work and real passion and been phenomenally successful – a real inspiration as a young entrepreneur myself.


Sport wise – anyone that breaks through the norm. To get to the top and be the best. Think of the iceberg concept. Most people only see the top above the water which is the success – the base under the sea is multiple times bigger and that’s the inspiring bit – all the work that has gone in behind the scenes.


I remember a quote from Brendan Ingle – I was 15/16 and watching the Prince Naseem Hamed world title fight. He was training him at the time. He comes over and has a chat with me at the weigh-in. Asks about what I am doing with my life. He stares at me saying very little. Touches my shoulder and says “There’s plenty of space at the top, the bottom is full”.


I was a little confused initially and then it sunk in. He was talking about success. My Dad told me to remember that quote. I have to this day.”


To donate to Carnegie’s 10:10:1000 challenge and help us support the thousands of organisations in the UK using the power of sport to change lives, please visit: