THE power of sport doesn’t just inspire youngsters to be the best they can be, it provides a place for all of us to move our bodies. 

I know on a personal level if I can’t exercise my mental health starts to really struggle. 

It is often spoken about in psychology that changing our thoughts and feelings can influence our behaviours but scientists at Stanford University are showing the reverse is true.

Changing behaviours first is a powerful way of influencing our thoughts and feelings - and out overall health. 

If we are going to move our life forward then we must take action.

If we wait until we feel ready then we will never do it.

We are more likely to just wait longer. 

To improve our mental states, act first and our moods will improve, and in turn we become better people. 

If there was ever an image from the world of sport that encapsulates this it was that of young Xander Graham during the Tour of Britain last weekend. 

I have always believed as an athlete that part of the privilege you have is to help inspire the future generation and the image of Pascal Eenkhoorn riding alongside the youngster before passing over his water bottle to him takes some beating as one of the images of the Tour of Britain.

The youngster broke away on the pavement from a small group of riders that included Eenkhoorn from Jumbo Visma when the TV camera caught the action. 

Graham could be seen riding faster on the pavement before the pros rode alongside him and Pascal reached over with his water bottle. 

That’s what sport is about, those moments that can change a life. 

We have all felt them from watching our favourite sports and athletes. 

I can still remember being a young Xander Graham watching sport and been inspired by the athletes I watched on TV. 

Watching those athletes paved a life in sport for me. 

Sometimes we need reminded of the beauty of sport away from just the winning and how it can change lives. 

Who knows what this young boy will go onto achieve in cycling?

And that’s the thing, it doesn’t really matter if he goes onto win Olympic titles, what is great about this moment is it inspired him. 

Can you imagine how he felt, how you would feel if you were him? 

I am sure everyone who watched this will have lasting memories of that special moment. 

It also gave us the viewers an insight into the power of sport and that gesture from Eenkhoorn is a reminder to all who have the ability to inspire, that as much as its nice to win, changing a life can be far more powerful.

It wasn’t long till word got around of the water bottle exchange and then you Xander found himself behind the scenes of the Tour meeting athletes like Mark Cavendish. He even found himself standing on the pre-race podium. 

It reminded me of a visit to the Glasgow Children’s Hospital where I met a young boy who had lost his leg to cancer.

When I asked him what he wanted to be in life, he told me that he wanted to be a blade runner after seeing the blade runners at the Paralympics. 

This is the power of sport and the benefit of having races like the tour of Britain passing through small towns and cities is that young children like Xander get the opportunity to not just see world class sport but in Xander’s case get to ride alongside the pros for a short moment that was thankfully caught on camera.  

This is also a reminder to us adults about the importance of taking action, not over thinking things and waiting for the right time to do something.

To really improve our mental states, getting out on that bike is maybe the best thing you could do today.