Introducing SS4B to the Business Community

Posted 10 Oct 2023

News and Stories by Nino Severino

I have worked tirelessly, travelling out to as many companies situated in our base of Ipswich, the response has been incredible, with businesses offering a massive willingness to be involved and support our SS4B personal development programme for young people.


Every aspect of the SS4B Programme has been designed to maximise the learning experience and affect for the athlete, with minimum inconvenience for the businesses who which to be involved in this unique programme.


The SS4B Team want the experience for all involved to be positive and rewarding, athletes will learn and develop, mentors will gain as well, through “Giving Back” and gaining a feeling of satisfaction knowing they are affecting the lives of young developing individuals.


The commitment can range from simply providing a quote to educate and inspire, to a one off 2 hour programme involvement, all the way through to SS4B Programme support that will see mentors building valuable relationships with athletes over a very long period of time.


The “Reverse Learning Delivery” (RLD) means that any SS4B mentor is not committed to any schedule or volume of support, the SS4B programme has been designed in this way to remove any limiting factors that may prevent a business being involved. It is incredibly important to The Elena Baltacha Foundation that all involved will benefit and develop, and this includes the SS4B Mentors.


SS4B have partnered with “Cake, People Development”, which means, all mentors, if they so wish can take advantage of a fully structured, accredited Mentoring Programme for business professionals. This business education will be built into the SS4B Programme and will be free of charge if any of the SS4B Mentors wish to enrol on it. The programme will be led by Margaret Burnside, a professional with over 30 years’ experience in this area.

Margaret Burnside



Margaret has over 30 years' training & development experience both inside organisations and as external consultant. She is a leadership, emotional intelligence, and presentation skills coach - passionate about coaching and mentoring



Cake People Development



The power of coaching and mentoring as a learning and development tool has been increasingly recognised in the workplace.


Managers are frequently asked to provide a coaching leadership style or to act as mentors. It is increasingly apparent that HR and L&D professionals need this credible skillset to support the needs of the people in their organisations.

Below are some regularly asked questions about the SS4B Programme:



At what level within the business should the coaches be operating, i.e. Senior Associates and Legal Directors / Managers, Associates, Trainees?


From SS4B perspective, and for many reasons, we believe that it would be a positive experience for the athletes to be mentored by a range of professionals, junior through to very senior. Each mentor would present different phases of professional specific and non-specific personal skills and development, which would be a very positive learning facet of the programme for the athletes.


The range of professional from a status and development point of view would support the:

“Reverse Learning Delivery” concept (RLD) we have developed within the SS4B Programme, which will be explained further down this document.


Each business would put forward identified mentors that will benefit the athletes and fit in and around the operations of the business schedules.  Because of the way the programme has been designed, it will be very easy to match an athlete to the level of the mentor and the amount and times they can offer.

How long will the programme last? 


We have designed the SS4B Programme concept to expand past programme education and involve a wide spectrum of personal development experiences that will engage the athletes over many years through to a point where we can help them into a career pathway, or they are creating opportunities for themselves.


The first phase of the SS4B Programme will take one year to complete, this is a commitment from the athlete only. The aim of the long-term programme will be to build support relationships with all athletes involved in the SS4B Programme.


The “Reverse Learning Delivery” (RLD) means that any SS4B mentor is not committed to any schedule or volume of support, the SS4B programme has been designed in this way to remove any limiting factors that may prevent a business being involved.

The “Reverse Learning Delivery Experience” (RLDC)


The SS4B Programme is designed to ensure both athlete and business mentor both enjoy the experience, the “Reverse Learning Delivery” (RLD), is designed to support this aspiration.


The SS4B Mentor will only be asked to mentor based on their specific business and personal skills, they will never be asked to learn any other areas above and beyond their expertise or knowledge base, although, if they wish, they can enrol on the Cake Mentoring Course. This simply means they offer support through their experiences, knowledge, and current job role, the SS4B (RLD) concept will do the rest!


The mentor offers their time, no matter of schedule volume, or how long each experience will last, they will simply expose their working environment to the athlete, and their job role duties. The SS4B Athlete will attend and use this credit of experience to connect real business and work place life with the focus module being studied during their personal journey through the one-year programme.


This takes any mentoring pressure off the SS4B Mentor, as the athlete will have the responsibility of looking for links between their subject matter and the real-life experiences they are benefiting from in the business and workplace. They will attend the work place with modules to complete from us, this supports the “Reverse Learning Delivery”.


The SS4B Mentors will be asked to create an arena of workplace and business experience that offers each athlete a broad base experience of the mentors’ duties during the time that the athlete is with them. The mentor may wish to simply offer the experience as it would have happened if the athlete was not there, they may wish to plan it differently if they feel added value can be worked into the onsite experience, this will not need any pre-planning or link to any SS4B educational component. The athlete’s value will be derived through “Reverse Learning Delivery”, they will come tasked with objectives, it will be their responsibility to fulfil these objectives. This will not impact on the mentors, as these objectives are all based on observation, and questions from the athletes to the mentors if the scenario and situation allows. The “Reverse Learning Delivery” removes any need for the mentor to focus on achieving learning goals for the athletes.


This approach will not limit the commitment or level of the support offered by the mentor, and of course, it will provide the mentor with the opportunity of making the experience more relevant and valuable, if they wish, we can provide the SS4B Mentor with the component subject the athlete is studying during their time with the mentor. This is not a requirement, as the athlete will be expected to document their experience and provide a body of feedback reflecting their experiences and how it has supported the component they are studying and their personal development.

How do you envisage the coaching element of the programme will work?  What would the coaches/ mentors be asked to do and at what intervals?


The mentoring commitment would be offered across a very wide range of involvement, the aim is to make the experience enjoyable for all and a very valuable experience for the athlete.


The initial launch of the SS4B Programme will provide the businesses and the SS4B Business Mentors with an excellent opportunity to be involved and add value through a wide programme educational offering, varying in commitment levels.


Below, we have outlined all the elements of the SS4B Programme, this clearly offers the SS4B Mentors an understanding of their role within the full SS4B Programme. It is designed to accommodate all commitment levels from the SS4B Mentors. The wider SS4B Programme is well structured, robust, and valuable, and will run throughout the whole year. The SS4B Mentors will integrate into the wider programme at a commitment level, schedule and volume that fits their personal and business lives.


At no time will the SS4B Mentors be pressurised in any shape, way, or form, at SS4B, we appreciate any investment from our mentors, small, medium, or large. Together, our SS4B Mentor Portfolio will have an amazing effect on the lives of our student/athletes, and we believe could potentially affect the career and business life path for many of them.


Modern technology and social media will mean the SS4B Programme can reflect the style of education and support that will excite and stimulate the athlete, junior or senior and will include the following.



The SS4B presenters and educators will deliver the nucleus of the SS4B programme, the mentoring element will fit around the core programme, and will only involve the specific skills and knowledge that each mentor possesses. This offers an opportunity to give back, without preparation or personal programme development work for the SS4B Mentor. As mentioned above, the SS4B Mentors can always take advantage of enrolling on our “Cake Mentoring” Programme, at any stage of their personal mentoring experience.

SS4B Supportive Que Cards


Ø  The Que Cards will be housed in a very stylish housing case, the athlete can use these cards, and the sophisticated messaging on them to support their learning. There are 52 cards with the case. We already have fully produced examples of this very valuable learning product.


Text/Whatsaap messages and quotes from Senior SS4B Mentors, focused on inspiring and motivating the athlete


Ø  The power of online platforms and social media is undeniable, most junior, and senior athletes will spend a considerable amount of time engaged with them. We aim to capitalise in the power of social media, for a very valuable outcome, and personal development! We will use social media for many reasons, one will involve the SS4B Mentor, we want to tap into the experience of our senior mentors and ask them to provide us with inspirational messaging.


Pre-filmed deliveries from SS4B Mentors, these will be banked and used through several educational portal and opportunities, such as scheduled Zoom deliveries.


Ø  This aspect of the training programme will provide the SS4B Mentors the opportunity to offer an incredibly valuable educational component for the tudent/sathlete. The SS4B Mentor will choose a subject for a short recording, the SS4B team will slot this subject into an appropriate phase of the athlete’s educational and development experience. There is no scheduling or time pressure on the SS4B Mentors, they will simply record, at their workplace, when it fits in with their schedules and workloads.

These recordings will be offered through our SS4B Youtube Chanel and our Zoom programme.

SS4B Group Mentoring Sessions, this will be a dip in, dip out experience, and will need no preparation from the SS4B Mentor


Ø  Attending group mentoring sessions, these would be events attended by a group of Mentors, they would provide a short presentation about their personal experiences through their career, past or present. Athletes would then be arranged into groups who would work their way around each mentor who would spend around 15 minutes with each group, informally talking about one subject area they felt would be valuable, linked in with the wider development programme.


SS4B Zoom Meeting schedule


Ø  All elite athletes will have extremely busy training and life schedules, we want to ensure that there will be no barrier to their personal development, which means access to the educational components including in the SS4B programme 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We will use the Zoom platform to present all the components delivered during any classroom delivery, if the athlete has missed a delivery for any reason, they will be invited to a recorded and aired version through our Zoom platform. We can use the Zoom platform for many other reasons including messages from SS4B Mentors, this will offer an incredibly powerful portal for the SS4B Mentor to build on any contact time they are having with the athletes on their personal mentoring programme. It will of course also ensure that every athlete in the SS4B Programme is aware of every SS4B Mentor from every company in our SS4B Support Portfolio. This will help support any events we are running, already making all the athletes very familiar with many of the SS4B Mentors they may not have already met.

On site Mentor support offering credits of experience through real workplace life


Ø  The onsite visits will offer a real business and workplace experience, providing each student/athlete with the opportunity to link the teachings with “real life” career and business experiences. These onsite experiences will offer a very valuable teaching tool for the SS4B presenters and educators, linking teachings to infield experiences. All at SS4B view this facet of our SS4B Programme as the “Jewel in the SS4B Crown”, it will offer the athlete, not only a high-quality life experience, but the opportunity to build relationships with the companies in the SS4B Business Portfolio, who will at points in the future need to recruit! We would like to offer our athletes the experience to visit the work place for a positive learning experience, these on-site mentoring experiences would range from a one off 2-hour visit, shadowing their mentor, offering an insight to the mentor’s life in their career or business real life work place. This facet would powerfully integrate into the teachings that the athletes would be experiencing through the 12 educational classroom based modules.


A schedule of social and fun events that SS4B Mentors can attend to build relationships


Ø  The schedule of social events will include a wide range of experiences, this will offer all in the SS4B Programme, athletes, mentors, presenters and educators, the opportunity of forging and building strong and meaningful relationships. It will create an incredible opportunity to build camaraderie amongst all, an aspect of life, Elena felt was very important, for so many reasons.

by Wendy Henderson