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Sports stars helping young people to ‘Get on Track’

19 April 2016

An international rugby player and a former Cardiff City striker are inspiring a group of young people from across Bridgend County Borough to make positive life choices.

Wales women’s rugby winger Philippa Tuttiett, and ex-Bluebird footballer Christian Roberts are the two mentors leading Wales’ first ever ‘Get on Track’ programme.

Already a big success elsewhere in the UK, ‘Get on Track’ is the flagship programme of the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust. Using elite athletes as role models, the programme helps to transform the lives of disadvantaged young people by developing their confidence, resilience, determination, focus and motivation.

The programme is also being supported locally by Bridgend County Borough Council and, for the last month, Philippa and Christian have been mentoring a group of 18 young people aged from 16 to 24.

Meeting up two to three times each week, the group has taken part in a range of sessions to help them develop their skills. From team bonding outdoor activities, to work experience and voluntary days, the participants have also brushed up on interview techniques, and how to write CVs.

They have also taken on the task of working as a team to host a sports day at Ogmore Vale Primary School.

Last year, 72 per cent of the young people who took part in ‘Get on Track’ in England and Scotland entered employment, education or training within eight months of starting the programme, while 75 per cent of them became inspired to take up playing sport on a regular basis.

Mentor Philippa Tuttiett said: “It’s exciting to be involved in the first ever ‘Get on Track’ programme in Wales. The programme has helped the group to build confidence, challenge themselves and think about things in a different way so that they can move forward to achieve their goals and aspirations.”

Councillor Mel Nott OBE, the Leader of Bridgend County Borough Council, said: “We are extremely proud that the first ever ‘Get on Track’ programme in Wales is underway right here in Bridgend County Borough.

“Elite sports people such as Christian, Philippa, and Dame Kelly Holmes herself, possess unique skills and attitudes. They know exactly what it is like to overcome adversity and still have the will to succeed, and these qualities can help young people to fulfil their potential.

“The young people taking part in this scheme come from a range of backgrounds. Some may have been in care, are homeless, or have been at risk of offending, while some are just increasingly facing challenges in finding employment or engaging in education.

“All of them are making excellent progress and I would like to thank Christian and Philippa for the support they have offered the group.”

‘Get on Track’ is funded by the People’s Postcode Lottery, and the launch of the programme in Wales was also made possible thanks to a funding award from The Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys.

Double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes set up her charity in 2008, and it has so far reached over 300,000 young people.  You can find out more at www.damekellyholmestrust.org

Last Updated: 24/05/2016
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