Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in Warwickshire will be mentored by world class athletes, as part of a transformational programme led by the charity of double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes.
Get on Track is the flagship programme of Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, which trains and develops world class athletes to empower young people facing disadvantage. This enables them to take control of their own futures and contribute positively within their local communities.
The community-based personal, social and emotional development programme will start later this month and be led by BMX Champion Kelvin Batey and Olympic Swimmer Jo Jackson. The sessions – run over a seven-month period – will help young people to realise the attitudes and behaviours needed to make long term positive life choices.
The innovative project is being funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire and delivered in partnership with CSW Sport. Last year the programme was delivered in 62 areas of the UK and over two thirds who took part were in employment, education or training within five months of starting the programme. A further 77% of young people felt more connected to their local community.
Kelvin Batey, Athlete Mentor at Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, said: “We believe as a charity that every young person – no matter what their background or current circumstances – has the potential to lead a positive life. I can’t wait to start working with the young people on our Warwickshire programme and being able to support them to reach their full potential.
“Our programmes are proven to have a lasting impact – the short-term successes achieved, such as moving into employment or achieving in education, only represent the start of their journey – it’s also about empowering them to make positive changes to their life and to contribute positively within their communities.”
Philip Seccombe, Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire, added: “Young people can sometimes find themselves on the fringes and anti-social behaviour or be involved with the criminal justice system because of their background or personal circumstances. It is vital therefore that there are good programmes of diversionary activities in Warwickshire which can support and guide young people away from trouble and enable them to make a positive start into adult life.
“I’ve been impressed by the results that the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust has achieved elsewhere in the country, so was keen to see whether that same positive impact can be achieved here in Warwickshire. I’m really pleased that Kelvin and Jo will soon begin their work with young people here and I will be watching the progress of the programme with interest.”