Before Get on Track, I really wasn’t doing that much. I was mainly sitting on the sofa, watching TV or playing FIFA on the Playstation. I used to go to college but I dropped out, it wasn’t really for me.

I wasn’t doing much activity before I started the programme. I really didn’t feel comfortable doing activity, I didn’t feel I was good enough, I thought I was useless. I felt like I was really unfit and it was really embarrassing to be out doing exercise.

On the programme we went bike riding, circuit training and boxing among other things. Boxing was my favourite, it was great to do a session with a professional boxer like Courtney Fry, learning how to punch with pads, things like that. We also went swimming which at first I was really nervous about because I couldn’t swim, but with everyone’s help I kind of learned how, it’s something I’d really like to continue with after lockdown.

Henry Cookey, athlete mentor:

We were all so impressed with Josh. The whole week he came up with excuses as to why he couldn’t come and even on the day itself he said wasn’t going to. He really didn’t want to get in the water, but he got in, gave it a go and within about 40 minutes he’d basically learned to swim. For someone who’d not ever been able to swim, to get in and learn basic strokes so quickly, it was so amazing to see. We were all really proud of him.”

Hopefully the confidence I’ve gained from things like swimming I can take into other areas after lockdown, like when I apply for jobs or to go back to college. I’m looking to go back to college and also apply for weekend jobs so I have a bit of money coming in. I was initially looking at doing a football coaching course but recently with a friend we’ve looked into training to join the police force in the future.

Working with Henry has been great, I really enjoyed it. I love the way he’s built up everyone’s confidence. We did a thing early on called a Town Task where we had to talk to people in town and find out stuff about Southport. None of really wanted to do it, but Henry made us believe we could do it and in the end we went out and did it, we even got a woman to sing ‘We Will Rock You!’

The online sessions have really helped. I enjoy the quizzes and challenges Henry sets and I’m now more comfortable talking on video calls, I wouldn’t have been able to do that before this programme. I liked the activity sessions we’ve done too. During lockdown I’m going for a long walk every day, up to about two hours. Back on the programme we did a step challenge and I averaged around 13,000 steps a day and won the competition. Now I go out on my own walking around the hills near where I live. I’ve also started doing sit-ups and press ups.

I’d definitely recommend this programme as I really think it would help other people. It’s really helped with my confidence, I’ve made some good friends and I can keep active now and I don’t feel embarrassed about it like I did before. 

Josh is currently attending the Get on Track for Wellbeing programme in Southport. Thanks to funding from Sport England, we are working with 700 young people in coastal communities all  across England to help them become more active.