I read an interesting profile on Magnus Scheving at the weekend. Magnus is the creator of LazyTown, the children’s TV show which is fast reaching cult-status with global youngsters.
For those of you who are not familiar with LazyTown, the show features Sportacus (played by Scheving) whose mission is to get the children of LazyTown town to engage in all forms of sports and physical activity rather than sitting around indoors. The show uses a mix of live-action, puppetry and computer generated content. The popularity of Sportacus has snow-balled and the show is now licensed in 100 countries.
What strikes me about Scheving is his deep-routed sense of purpose. This is no superficial celebrity whose spotted a quick way to turn a profit. He is a charismatic role model and has been passionate about exercise his entire life. At age five, he became a professional ‘running telegram’. He explains:
‘Not everyone had phones in the tiny Icelandic town in which I grew up, so I would take messages from house to house, running 6 km (3.5 miles) maybe nine times a day’.
Following his exploits as a running telegram, he later threw himself into competitive aerobics, becoming a world silver medalist. He is also a former health club owner.
So, let’s put a Sportacus into every city and every town in the UK and set them the challenge of getting kids moving again. If anyone can, Sportacus can!