Global investment firm KKR’s London office hosted a group of sports students from West London College on their rooftop terrace to mark the ‘Go’* stage of their participation in Dame Kelly Holmes Trust’s Get on Track for Employability programme on 26 May. Following a barbeque and some seriously competitive rounds of table tennis, giant Jenga and giant Connect 4, the young people spent time presenting their programme successes to the group, including employees from KKR and the Trust, as well as the charity’s board of trustees.
With confidence and skills for employment featured high on the programme’s agenda, the young people showed the impact the programme, and their athlete mentors, have had on them: they spoke about the lack of self-belief and direction they had felt at the beginning of the course, comparing it with the confidence they now felt to stand up and present in front of this group, and their better understanding of requirements for work.
Diana, one of the West London College students said: “It’s challenged me to come out of my shell and helped me with my skills to become more employable.”
Alexandre, another participant said: “I’ve learnt a lot of new skills such as the importance of teamwork and communication. I’ve also learnt how to manage and invest my money. I’ve become a more confident person – this programme has helped me to prepare for the outside world and it’s shown me how to present myself in a suitable way.”
As an additional insight into the world of work, on 9 June the programme saw the group visiting Warner Brothers Studio Tour in West London. The young people used this opportunity to understand more about what is involved in creating a movie and the many options for working within the film industry, and enjoyed a tour of the ‘Harry Potter’ film set replica at the studios.
The Trust works with existing and former world-class athletes, training them to use their unique skills and experience from the world of elite sport to act as mentors and role models for young people. These programmes were delivered by Athlete Mentors Hannah Beharry, former England and GB boxer, and Gabriella Marshall, current England netballer.
West London College’s Miguel De’Souza, who attended the event with the young people, said: “It shows that when you put young people at the centre of everything you do, like with Dame Kelly Holmes Trust programmes, that it makes a huge difference. I coach some of these young men in football too, and I’ve seen them change not just as students, not just as athletes, but as people. And you’re a person a lot longer than you’re a student or an athlete. They’ve learnt skills for life.”
The programme is broken down into stages: