Gary attended the Young Leaders Training programme in North Belfast in 2019/20. The programme aims to create a group of highly motivated, skilled and socially responsible young people who are enthusiastic about driving forward positive change in their communities and in society. 

The programme engages young people in sports, physical and creative activities that bring communities together and help create the next generation of community leaders.

Throughout the programme, Gary grew in confidence and learned to channel his excitement and become more focussed as the sessions with athlete mentors from the Trust and coaches from Peace Players progressed.

Gary has so many attributes, he's really excitable and always got something to say. When I first met him, he would act before he thought and he'd lose his focus a little bit, but he's really learnt to control that over time.

Liz Johnson - Athlete Mentor

It was quite evident in the first couple of weeks that he was taking to the programme and grasping every opportunity that he got.He was doing well from the start but he's really blossomed now and become a great young leader in the community.

Mickey - Ashton Communty Trust

At the end of the Young Leaders programme, Gary applied for and was accepted onto the Ambassadors programme where he will be able to develop his leadership skills further to become an agent of social change within his community. 

Honestly, I'm really glad I got involved in this project. If you hear about this project in the future, just get involved, I know you won't regret it

The Young Leaders Training and Ambassadors programme is being delivered by Dame Kelly Holmes Trust in partnership with PeacePlayers International NI on behalf of the Department of Communities in various locations in Northern Ireland.