Callum Lea

What is your favourite memory of Malvern College?

There are definitely too many to pick just one. Going to India, Abu Dhabi and South Africa in my first three years for cricket tour was unforgettable. Also the novelty of walking up the steps at main building never wore off.

But my favourite memory from my time at Malvern was the relationship I formed with my boarding house. You get to know your boarding house mates on a deeper level than normal when you're living with them and sharing so many experiences with them. You become emotionally attached to your house and the people that both live and work within it and it truly feels like one big extended family. A particular memory that stands out is Christmas Supper, each year. After a long and very tiring first term, Christmas celebrations the evening before everyone broke up for the holidays made you feel like you wanted to stay at the school throughout the rest of December.

What attracted you to your particular career & what do you enjoy most about it?

I was a cricket scholar at Malvern and played for Worcestershire CCC in their academy. After I left in 2018, I started to experience mental health issues that prompted me to look into the support that was on offer. I subsequently discovered there were a huge amount of athletes who did not get access to high quality mental health support. So I suppose what attracted me to start my charity, Sporting Minds, was my own experiences of mental health support amongst young athletes in the UK.

I'd say the thing I most enjoy about my career so far is the knowledge that my organisation is making a real difference to the lives of people who often remind me of the position I was once in.

What part did Malvern College play in giving you the necessary skills for your chosen path?

Having come to Malvern on a cricket scholarship, if it wasn't for Malvern's first class cricket set up, I wouldn't have been in the position to form my charity as I wouldn't have got to the standard necessary to experience elite sport. Having access to professional coaches like Noel Brett and Mark Hardinges as well as constant use of strength and conditioning experts like Simon Woodward and Ben Humphreys was an absolute luxury and can't be replicated in many schools across the world.

But aside from cricket, the structure of day to day life at a boarding school like Malvern taught me an incredible amount. The fact that I had to use emails every day from 13-18 at school helped massively when it came to communications from my organisations just a year after I left.

Even the experiences I've had in seeking help from older students when I was younger and then giving it once I was a sixth former has given me confidence to give my own advice, publicly, on matters as delicate as mental health.

Probably too much to name but realistically I don't think I would've established my charity had I not lived at Malvern for five years.

What are your ambitions?

I want to keep growing my charity and make sure all young athletes in the country know they can use it for free private mental healthcare. Following that I want to try and replicate it in other countries that don't have proper mental health support systems within sport.

I've started working for a sports management company as well and so I want to venture more into that industry after I graduate from university. So definitely to keep working in mental healthcare and sport.

What advice would you give to current pupils contemplating entering your field?

If you want to start a charity then it's a lot less pressure than starting a business so you may as well try it. You don't need to worry about being profitable and people will acknowledge your attempts to make a positive impact so there is really no downside even if it doesn't work out. If there is a cause that you believe you can make a difference to, then it's pretty much impossible to fail at it once you get involved.

What advice would you give to current pupils about making the most of their time at Malvern College?

It definitely goes a lot quicker than you think it will and you'll leave at some point unfortunately, so try and build as many close relationships with as many people as you can whilst you're there as they will last after you leave the College. Thankfully, the Malvernian Society hands you the opportunity to stay connected with the College after you leave which is very fortunate.

Taking advantage of the opportunities you get given at Malvern is a soundbite you hear a lot of whilst you're a pupil but it's very true. I found a lot of the facilities that are free to use while you're a pupil are very expensive in public so take advantage of it whilst you can.