Bermuda’s football icon Nahki Wells has taken to Zoom to inspire children enrolled on the mentoring programme Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda.

Mr Wells, a striker with Sky Bet Championship club Bristol City, was the first to participate in the charity’s new virtual series called Unlocking Potential.

While some of the questions were sent in advance, young participants also had the opportunity to ask questions live on camera.

The star told the children that it was his sense of discipline that had helped him to find true success.

“I had ability and natural talent but others had that too. My biggest attribute was discipline. At university, you have freshers week and parties, everyone is living the life, drinking alcohol, but I vividly remember saying I am not going out.

“I was doing that from young, trying to rest, being able to say no to things that we want to do. Being in a place like Bermuda, in order to get to the position I am today, you have to overcome hurdles, you have to get lucky … In order to get there you have to make sacrifices and be disciplined.

“That differentiated me from many other young, talented Bermudians. That was ultimately key to what allowed me to be here.”

Mr Wells said that he has always loved sport and, armed with a competitive spirit, participated in football, cricket, tennis, fishing, swimming and track and field while growing up.

Asked when he knew he had made it in the football world, he said when he first played at Wembley Stadium for Bradford City and then Premiership team Swansea in the Capital One Cup final 2013.

He said: “It was surreal. It was like living in a dream. Wembley is the pinnacle of British football. That was an unreal moment and one that I will always hold as one of my favourite footballing memories.”

Patrina O’Connor Paynter, managing director for BBBS, said the Unlocking Potential series aims to “inspire and motivate our young people through Bermudians who are making huge strides in Bermuda and throughout the world. They will share their stories and keep it real through questions from our youth”.

She wrote on the charity’s Facebook page: “Nahki was amazing. The children were definitely in awe as they listened to him, but also felt comfortable enough to ask live questions. Our children are even harder than journalists.

“Nahki talked about growing up and his path to success in the soccer world. He shared about what his life is like now and gave powerful advice based on the questions asked.

“He was so down to earth that the children felt like they were talking to a friend. They were glued to their screens.”

Ms O’Connor thanks Wells calling him “a treasure to our Bermuda community” and welcoming him into the BBBS family. She said that more participants would be announced soon.

The Royal Gazette