Engineering students at Sunderland College have been inspired to become more physically active and more employable with help from world-class athletes.
Twelve trainee engineers from City Campus took part in the Get on Track programme delivered by the Dame Kelly Homes Trust which uses personal, social and emotional development practices to improve young people’s confidence, self-esteem and resilience.
Through activities and mentoring from former Bradford City goalkeeper Chris Elliott and four-time BMX world champion Kelvin Batey, the students increased their physical activity levels while developing essential skills for entering the world of work.
Jo Corbett, Personal Development and Wellbeing Manager at Sunderland College, said: “The Coastal Communities Project is like no other programme we have ran before. It truly inspires students, through world class athletes sharing their stories of struggle and hardship and how they remained focussed to achieve their goals and ambitions; all through sheer determination and passion.
“It was nice to see the students bond as a group and have fun during their last few weeks at college before they move on to their jobs, apprenticeships or university.
“Chris and Kelvin shared some really inspiring stories which our students will remember for a very long time, as well as pushing them to the limits with physical challenges and critical thinking exercises. I can’t thank them enough and appreciate what they have done for us.”
Get on Track is delivered in three stages: On Your Marks, which uses learning and engagement activities to improve students’ communication and teamwork skills while building a bond with their athlete mentor; Get Set, where they improve their soft skills and employability prospects through a local Social Action project, networking events and mock interviews; and Go, which involves an event and presentation delivered by the group to celebrate completing the programme.
Participants can also gain specific qualifications such as First Aid or Money Matters.
The Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, set up in 2018 by double Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes, is a UK sports charity which supports 11-25-year-olds who are harder to engage in both education and the community.
Funded by Sport England, the Get on Track programme works with local colleges located in coastal areas to help young people get out of their comfort zones, making them more adaptable to change in the real world and understand how much they can achieve.
In 2020, 68% of young people who took part in Get on Track moved into employment, education or training within five months.
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