- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Dame Kelly Holmes recently visited the National Assembly for Wales to tell politicians about her initiative to help young people get their lives back on track.
The Dame Kelly Holmes Trust trains world class athletes to become mentors to disadvantaged youngsters – care leavers, homeless people, young offenders, women at risk of sexual exploitation, those living within isolated communities and those facing challenges in finding employment or engaging in education.
Labour Mid and West Wales members Joyce Watson and Eluned Morgan discussed with the double Olympic gold medallist the charity’s ‘Vision for Wales’. The Trust aims to deliver transformational programmes in every Welsh local authority by 2020, reaching 10,800 young people.
Joyce Watson said:
“This is a really exciting project with huge potential. Sport has a fantastic ability to inspire and bring people together. That’s what the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust is all about: giving inspirational athletes the tools to empower young people to get their lives on track – to get healthy, achieve in education, enjoy career success and take part in meaningful activities.”
Eluned Morgan said:
“It was incredible to meet such a charismatic figure who inspired the nation and continues to inspire young people around the country, especially those young people facing disadvantage, through their participation in the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust’s transformational programmes.”
Since it was founded in 2008, the Trust has helped transform the lives of thousands of young people and supported more than 400 world class athletes to lead worthwhile lives beyond sport.
Last year, two thirds of young people who took part in the Trust’s Get on Track programme were in education, employment or training within only five months; and 77% felt more connected to their local community.
Speaking at the Senedd, Dame Kelly said:
“Despite a range of successful initiatives in Wales over recent years, there still exists a number of young people who are currently facing disadvantage and require innovative solutions to enable them to lead a positive life.
“It’s more important than ever before that young people are equipped with the attitudes and behaviours needed to realise their potential and have a real impact within their local communities.
“We believe that every young person in Wales – regardless of their past or current circumstances – has the potential to have a positive future. It can take just one special individual to help them realise the confidence and determination needed to succeed and the resilience to go again if barriers or challenges arise.
“It’s vital that we harness the attitudes, behaviours and experiences of all the immensely talented elite sportspeople in Wales. If they’re supported correctly they’ll go on to deliver a lasting legacy to young people and communities across the country.”
To learn more about the impact of the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, click here. Or visit: https://www.damekellyholmestrust.org/