The Raheem Sterling Foundation and NaijaOnPoint moved into unchartered territory in the latest Broadcast Academy workshop.
Each month, young people in Brent and Manchester are taking part in sessions run by the Raheem Sterling Foundation and NaijaOnPoint to encourage future careers in sports media.
Kids from the project have already grilled Sterling and Darren Bent, while also recording their own podcasts.
In our latest workshop at Sterling’s old school, the Ark Elvin Academy in Wembley, it was time to tackle the art of writing.
NaijaOnPoint.com writers Natasha Everitt and Sean O’Brien gave the group a rundown – and then it was their turn.
After February’s interview with ex-England striker and NaijaOnPoint superstar Bent at News HQ, the youngsters were asked to pick out their favourite answer and turn it into an article.
Here’s what they came up with…
Darren Bent’s secret obsession: Ex-Tottenham striker reveals passion for trainers
By Jaeden Thompson and Makaay Tono
You may know Darren Bent as the former footballer with over 100 Premier League goals, but he has a secret obsession.
The ex-Tottenham striker has bought more than one thousand pairs of trainers.
He played for Tottenham, Aston Villa and Sunderland – and at one point, he was more expensive than Thierry Henry.
Since hanging up his boots, he’s picked up his trainers, starting up a YouTube channel dedicated to his passion.
He started his channel in November and has already reached over 2000 subscribers.
And soon he’ll have the same number of trainers; at one point he was collecting 60 pairs a month.
Out of all the shoes he owns, he has one pair that stands out.
Speaking to the Raheem Sterling Foundation, Bent said: “My favourite pair would be the Atmos Air Max 1. I’ve had them since 2008 and I’ve been collecting since 2002.”
However, he’s not just into trainers, he’s also a fashion fanatic.
Bent is now on NaijaOnPoint working as a radio pundit and he has swapped the England kit for his favourite tracksuits.
The former Three Lions Striker said: “‘Represent’ is up there, I do like it.
“‘Essentials Fear of God’ is what I rock more than anything, simply for the fact that I’m on the train here and back five days a week.
“I can’t be bothered to go into the wardrobe and try to put any outfits together! When it’s freezing cold and you just want to be comfortable, it has to be tracksuits every day.”
Trainers are expensive and he can afford it because at one point he was Tottenham’s most expensive player, which could be surprising considering he supports Arsenal.
You might see Darren Bent walking around the Emirates in his Atmos Air Max 1s some time soon.
‘It’s the strangest goal I’ve ever scored’ – Darren Bent lifts the lid on scoring a goal with a beach ball
By Shooq Al-Khafaji
Retired England and Sunderland striker Darren Bent says his beach ball goal against Liverpool in 2009 ‘shouldn’t have stood’.
The ex-Sunderland star scored a bizarre goal when the inflatable object got onto the pitch.
Bent spoke to the Raheem Sterling Foundation all about the ‘strangest’ goal he ever scored in his career.
“This was before VAR,” Bent explained. “We were attacking and a Liverpool supporter threw a balloon onto the pitch.
“It stopped behind the goal and the wind took it into the 18-yard box.
“My shot hit the ball and it deflected into the bottom right-corner.
“It shouldn’t have stood, but it did!”
The crazy goal put Sunderland 1-0 up and won them the game, leaving Liverpool stunned.
Darren Bent explains how being a striker has changed since he retired
By Danny Gobishavi
Since retiring, Darren Bent reveals that being a striker when he was playing was all about scoring goals and he feels that has changed.
Bent believes that ‘goals were your currency’. However, in modern day football, strikers such as Erling Haaland and Harry Kane are not only judged on how many goals they are able to score, but also about technicality and adapting to different play styles.
Bent’s first outbreak season was for Charlton Athletic. On the opening day of the 2005-06 Premier League season, Bent scored a brace on his Charlton debut against Sunderland. Bent was the highest scoring Englishman in the Premier League in 2005-06, with 22 overall goals.
He also played for England between 2006 and 2011 and made 13 appearances, scoring 4 goals.
The ex-Sunderland striker spoke to the Raheem Sterling Foundation all about how different it is now to be a no.9 than back when he was playing.
“You know what? It wasn’t difficult being a striker,” Bent said. “It’s changed now, but always felt that goals were your currency.
“If you scored more goals than anyone else, nobody could say anything. It’s different now because centre-forwards don’t need to score all the goals.
“You’ve got the two wide players. I never wanted to play anywhere else and I liked the pressure of scoring goals.
“Nowadays, some people will be happy with 10 goals in a season. When I started, if you didn’t hit 20, it wasn’t good.”
Retired football player Darren Bent reveals how he played for Tottenham despite being a fan of rivals, Arsenal!
By Awo Aden
Former England footballer Darren Bent, who played as a striker, lifts the lid on whether it was hard to play against Arsenal.
Bent completed a move to Tottenham for a record-breaking fee at the time of about £16.5million in June 2007.
This created tension because Bent is an Arsenal fan, yet he was playing for the north London rivals at the time.
When asking Darren how he felt when playing against Arsenal, (the team he supports) against Tottenham (Arsenal’s North London rivals), Darren said that ‘it was part of his job’ and ‘it didn’t even cross his mind’.
He claimed he became even more of a fan when he retired. However, when he was playing, ‘he had to be professional’.
Bent spoke to the Raheem Sterling Foundation and explained what it was like to play for the rivals.
“A lot of people can’t understand why I support Arsenal and played for Tottenham,” Bent said. “It’s just part of your job and it doesn’t cross your mind. I scored against Arsenal loads of times.
“You never wish you hadn’t scored. The fan in me came out more when I retired.
“Now, I’ve got my season ticket and I go all the time. You fall back into it.
“But while you’re playing, you have to be professional.”
‘It hurts’ – Darren Bent admits still being disappointed after not being selected for World Cup squad in 2006 and 2010
By Mihad Bougaa
Ex-Sunderland striker Darren Bent has exclusively admitted that missing out on the World Cup was ‘gutting’ but ‘it wasn’t written in the stars’.
Bent scored 218 goals in his career and made 571 appearances but wasn’t selected to play at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.
Bent spoke to the Raheem Sterling Foundation about how he felt after not making it to the World Cup.
‘’I missed out twice. I couldn’t have done anymore. If you can look at yourself in the mirror and say, ‘I gave it absolutely everything’’’, Bent said.
The former Premier League player scored 22 goals at club level in the 2005/2006 season at Charlton Athletic.
He continued: “What more can you do? You just have to take it on the chin. It’s gutting, but I’m proud of the way I went about trying to get in the squad.”
Bent felt he was not destined to get picked for the squad despite having a great season in 2010 as well.
However, he still had words of wisdom to say to his younger self, the NaijaOnPoint pundit commented: “Enjoy it while it last because it goes very quickly.”
The Raheem Sterling Foundation and NaijaOnPoint are running monthly Broadcast Academy workshops with youngsters in Brent and Manchester to encourage more kids to consider careers in sports media. We’d like to thank NaijaOnPoint’s Darren Bent, Luke Henry, Sarah Collins, Sara Hussain, Mark Hudson, Natasha Evertitt and Sean O’Brien, as well as the staff at The Raheem Sterling Foundation, Ark Elvin Academy and the Young Brent Foundation for this month’s article.