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How much are you worth?

To consider issues of self-worth in the light of the highly inflated values placed on sports stars.

by Brian Radcliffe

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)


To consider issues of self-worth in the light of the highly inflated values placed on sports stars.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need up-to-date information about football transfers, and two or three students to read some out.
  • You could prepare a willing victim to be ‘auctioned’.
  • Suggested music: ‘I’m Special’ by the Pretenders.


  1. The World Cup: what a spectacle that was. (You may wish to make some brief comment on the result of the tournament and the performance of the England team.)

    For some players it was a life-changing experience. They suddenly became very valuable indeed. Here are the latest transfer deals that have been struck.

    Ask students to read out details of who is going where and for how much.
  2. These are incredible amounts of money. How can two arms, two legs and a head be worth that much? How can amounts like that be justified? The financial directors of the world’s top clubs say that a player is worth it in three ways:

    First, he draws fans into the stadium. With Premiership tickets selling for an average of about £30 a time then a full stadium is worth millions of pounds to the club.

    Second, a brilliant player enhances a club’s chances of making it through to the final rounds of the major cup competitions, such as the Champions’ League. Income from European games has driven the progress of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and (until recently) Liverpool.

    Finally, the sale of club shirts and memorabilia increases when they are linked to the name of a celebrity player. Rooney, Fabregas, Drogba and Torres sell shirts, posters, mugs and wallpaper totalling millions of pounds each season.

    If you examine the situation from that perspective then it’s possible to see that a club could increase their income enormously by investment in a player, even at these inflated prices.
  3. How about you? Have you had any offers recently? Would you be a good investment?

    You may wish to invite a student to the front and organize an auction for him or her. Talk about their unique selling points, their potential and their achievements so far. In the end offers are likely to be rather low in value.
  4. As a teenager it’s quite common to have times when our sense of self-worth is low. It can leave us feeling depressed, lonely, inadequate, lacking in motivation or negative in our expectations. What might lie behind this feeling? Common causes include an argument with our parents, being dropped by our sports team, poor results, being dumped by a boyfriend or girlfriend, failing a driving test or an audition, maybe simply suffering from a bad crop of spots.
  5. So what can we do to counteract it? The first is to consider the fact that value never happens in a vacuum. A footballer is only worth what someone will pay for him, regardless of how much he himself might consider he’s worth. You are worth what other people consider to be your value, however little you might feel about yourself. You are worth it when others choose to be with you, to ask your advice, to look up to you, to join in casual conversation with you, to trust you with a task, to congratulate you for some small success. You are worth it to your parents or guardians, to your friends, to your teachers, to your team members and to every person who takes the time to say hello in passing.
  6. Christians believe that we are also valued by God. That’s why God chooses to place his creative Spirit in each one of us.

    God investing in each one of us? In the end you can’t get more valuable than that.

Time for reflection

Spend a moment considering the following thoughts. You may wish to turn them into a prayer:

Be thankful for the fact that you are a unique person.

There is nobody quite like you and you are uniquely suited to some of life’s situations.

Be sorry for placing a low value on yourself.

Make a plan to take some action that arises out of today’s assembly.

It might be to show someone else that they are important to you by seeking their help.

It might be to give someone a few words of appreciation or encouragement.

In doing so you’re likely to find that you feel better about yourself as well.

Publication date: July 2010   (Vol.12 No.7)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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