Falcons welcome cricketing icon Ben Stokes

Wednesday 18 January 2023 Written by: Adam

The World Cup winner spent more than an hour taking questions from Falcons players and coaches, speaking candidly on a range of subjects including leadership, preparation, psychology, decision making and implementing change.

Stokes said: “I’ve never gone in somewhere like I did today to speak to athletes from other sports, so this was actually a big thing for me.

“I didn’t want to come in and say ‘this is how you need to do things’ because every environment is different, and rather than doing a formal presentation I was more keen to hear what questions that the Falcons guys had.

“I love my sport and it’s interesting to see how different teams go about things, so I’d like to thank Newcastle Falcons for inviting me in. I was made to feel really welcome, and hopefully the lads got something out of it.”

The fascinating Q&A followed on from visits earlier in the season by Paralympic gold medalist Jack Smith and Dr Rachel Hawes, a consultant anaesthetist working with Great North Air Ambulance.

Falcons and Scotland legend Gary Armstrong was also invited in to speak with the current squad prior to their home win over Exeter Chiefs in November, with head coach Dave Walder keen to tap into expertise and inspiration from all available sources.

“Ben Stokes is an international sporting icon and it has been amazing to get him in, speaking so openly and honestly to our players and staff,” said Walder, who is a former England Schools cricket captain.

“Given the highs and lows he has experienced and the lessons he has learned, it was really interesting to learn what drives him and how he deals with all of those situations.

“We’re incredibly grateful that he was willing to give up his time amid such a busy schedule, and you can’t fail to be inspired by him.

“It has definitely given us food for thought in a number of areas, and it’s great for English and North-East sport that we’ve got such a down-to-earth guy like Ben who is prepared to come in and share his knowledge.”

Newcastle Falcons are next in action on Saturday when they host Irish province Connacht in the EPCR Challenge Cup.

[**Click here**][1] to buy tickets for the 5.30pm kick-off at Kingston Park, which IS included on the season ticket.

[1]: https://www.eticketing.co.uk/newcastle-falcons/EDP/Event/Index/1774?position=1