Celebration for Dame Kelly’s heroesBy David Millward
May 25, 2011
Double Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes has praised a group of jobless youngsters who have just completed a challenging course to help them find work.
The youngsters took part in the second Get on Track programme to be held at the John Madejski Academy, in Whitley.
They were treated to a celebratory evening at Madejski Stadium this week along with their sporting mentors and special guests including Dame Kelly herself.
Seventeen unemployed young people from the area were selected to take part in the course which started in March.
The programme, run by the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust (DKHLT), aims to make them fit for employment, training or education.
Dame Kelly said: “Many of these young people have faced some tough times.
“They may have to support themselves or are surrounded by really negative influences.
“Quite honestly, most people have no idea about what some young people have to deal with at such an early age.
“I am really chuffed that my charity, the DKH Legacy Trust, along with the John Madejski Academy, has made it possible for these young people in Reading to have a chance of getting their lives on track and now have real hope for a better future.”
The young participants were supported throughout the course by Olympian and Commonwealth champion swimmer Adam Whitehead, world BMX champion and Team Extreme performer Mike Mullen and extreme inline skater Jenna Downing.
The athletes used their experience of competing at the highest level to teach their pupils how to face adversity and overcome the odds to succeed.
Young participants in Get on Track told guest at the celebratory Go! event on party on Monday what they had achieved throughout the course.
Many of them volunteered to help during the Reading Half Marathon in March in which 17 corporate teams raised more than £10,000 for the trust.
Mr Whitehead said: “Every day when we’ve left the course it feels like it’s been a course for us.
“It feels like we’ve been the ones who’ve been inspired by this group of young people.”
For more information about the DKHLT visit www.dkhlegacytrust.org