When I started the programme I was at the job centre as I was looking for work and for one reason or another I wasn’t getting interviews or getting offered anything and this opportunity came up and I just threw myself into it!

Before COVID I was an outgoing person but during the pandemic I sort of withdrew into myself quite a bit and it was just an opportunity to speak to people I didn’t know before and because it was a safe space, it kind of helped me get back to normality.

Before I joined the programme I wasn’t doing much, just a few walks here and there but when we started we were pretty much thrown into doing activity! We did HIIT sessions, yoga and loads of other types of activity. It wasn’t too hardcore or anything but I needed a bit of a push at that point so it was good.

The first few days were a bit awkward but it was always going to feel a bit like that when you start something new. There were enough people there so I didn’t always have to always be talking but not so many that I couldn’t speak or be myself.

Throughout the programme , my athlete mentor Jenna has been great, always trying to get us to do exercise, or play some games, she’s been good fun. She made the programme exciting and engaging and always made the sessions something to look forward to. Over the last few months, I feel like my confidence has really been bumped up again, I’ve gained more motivation and in particular I’ve learned to motivate myself. I’ve also become stronger at working in a team as we’ve had more of a chance to do that over the last few months.

Throughout the whole course we were thinking about what we were going to do for our social action project. We ended up with two different groups looking at two separate projects which we ended up combining into one big project looking at the Five Ways to Wellbeing.

Jenna Downing, athlete mentor:

Nathan has always been a fantastic leader in the group, someone that the rest of the group can always rely on, always willing to step out of his comfort zone, and that’s what makes a champion in life, someone who is willing to push themselves. Nathan was quite shy at first but as the course has gone on he’s really grown as person and become a brilliant role model.

We were trying to get people back into exercise and thinking about their wellbeing as well. We delivered it to another Get on Track group and due to sickness on the day, I had to take more of a leadership role at the last minute and deliver another section other than my own to ensure the session could go ahead.

While on the programme I got a job at a local COVID test site. The Get on Track programme definitely helped me and gave me that push to get back out there and apply for jobs as I was less anxious, and I felt I was coming out of my shell more. I could have stopped attending Get on Track but I was enjoying it and it didn’t feel like something I had to do, I wanted to carry on attending for the experience and so I did.

Longer term I want to get into production management in the theatre. I’ve done a couple of courses recently and I’m going to start as a runner soon and then try and work my way up in the industry.

I’m definitely more active now that the programme is coming to an end, I do yoga and other exercise and it feels more important to be doing it now, I understand why I need to do it rather than just thinking it’s something I should do. It benefits sleeping, eating, just everything really.

Get on Track has definitely helped me come out of my shell and helped me take life on in a different way. It’s been really fun, and we’ve learned things as we’ve gone on, I’d say it’s really helped to improve my mindset.

Nathan attended the Get on Track for Wellbeing programme virtually. 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. Participants on this virtual programme have all been referred by the DWP and the programme was run in partnership with Swale Leisure.