Famous Fathers Sport

Matt Dawson: exclusive interview

Matt Dawson
Written by Steven White

Retired rugby union player Matt Dawson talks fatherhood and why he’s now involved with Fairy Non Bio.

Matt Dawson is working with Fairy Non- Bio on a beautiful campaign called To My Baby. Alongside Tom Daley and Vogue Williams, they’ve created a video encouraging parents to share their first, fundamental wishes for their child in a letter using #ToMyBaby

Fairy Non Bio created this campaign because they understand what means the most to parents: to have a healthy, happy, loved baby. But it can be easy to lose sight of these wishes as kids grow up, instead focussing on more complex aspirations. Which is why they’re asking parents to express their first wishes as a life-long reminder of the initial, uncomplicated hopes they have for our children

For some families, even the simplest of wishes can seem out of reach. So for every share of the video or letter using #ToMyBaby, Fairy Non Bio will donate £1 to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.

Here’s what Matt had to say when we spoke with him recently.

How did the challenges of rugby compare with the challenges of parenthood?

I certainly think the patience I learned as a professional sportsman helped. Not getting too worked up about issues you can’t resolve quickly. Also preparation is key, especially when the kids are very young. 

Any advice for any potentially nervous fathers to be? 

Be totally ready. The 24-hour consumption of family life is not to be taken lightly. Your non-children life significantly changes and needs to be managed mentally and physically. 

Has fatherhood changed your perspective on life? 

My family are my priority no matter what. I’m sure there’s not a minute that I don’t think about them in some capacity. That maybe obsessive but there so much enjoyment from the boys that I’m not sure what I’d do without them. 

Matt stars in the Fairy Non Bio #ToMyBaby video

Why did you take part in the Fairy Non Bio #ToMyBaby campaign? 

My boys are so precious to me that like all parents we want the best for our kids. Whether it’s education, health, nutrition or the cleanest of clothes, parents work hard to provide our offspring opportunities to flourish. I know Fairy Non Bio understands that what matters most to parents is having a healthy, happy and loved child. And of course, the association with Great Ormond Street Hospital has a special meaning to our family as well. The staff there saved our Sami’s life, so if we can help then we won’t hesitate to do so. 

Lastly, how do you balance work with just being ‘Dad’? 

I go out of my way to be just ‘Dad’. Playing down what I did and do. Focussing on manners and hard work ethic so that my boys are as grounded as possible. It’s difficult when people stop you in the street to say hello and the boys ask why – but I reply by saying it’s great to welcome people and shake hands. A bit vague, I know, but I think the boys have learnt a few things rather than running around telling their friends that daddy in famous. 

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