12 November 2013

A number of disadvantaged young people who have been working with the YMCA have been awarded at the Black Country Sports Awards last Friday for completing the ‘Get On Track’ programme.

Pepe Butoy, one of 15 young people who received an award said, “I really enjoyed the chance to go to the Black Country Sports Awards, my award was presented by Tom Davis, former Commonwealth Judo Champion and Rich Parker, European Inline Skate Champion who have mentored me over the 12 weeks.

“The programme has helped me to stop just giving up on things; now I put in 100% effort, even if something is way out of my comfort zone. I’ve also learned about the importance of body language and my attitude, which will make me more employable. The YMCA is now supporting me in becoming a football coach through gaining qualifications and finding a placement at a top football club. ”

YMCA Black Country Group, in partnership with Black Country Consortium and the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust, have been running the ‘Get On Track’ Programme for young people in the Black Country, a 12 week course where young people are mentored by a professional athlete in order to build skills, confidence and improve the employment prospects.

Luke Tyler of the YMCA said, “For me, it’s been a huge privilege to see the progression of the young people over the 12 weeks and how they had all grown in not only confidence but professionalism. We are now supporting them to find work placements and volunteer placements to help them get into their chosen career in sport.”

The project has been led by the YMCA’s Changing UR Health 4 Life team, who offer disadvantaged young people that have poor health a holistic approach to improving their wellbeing and supporting them in accessing employment with key employers across the region including West Bromwich Building Society, Walsall Football Club and Wolverhampton Wanderers.