Merseyside's first ever women only Get on Track programme has had a fantastic first week according to the lead athlete mentor Jenna Downing.

Get on Track is Dame Kelly Holmes Trust's flagship community-based personal, social and emotional development programme for 16-25 year olds. The programme in Merseyside is one of three women only Get on Track programmes funded by Comic Relief as part of their 'Levelling the Field' initiative. A total of 50 young women have taken part with two previous events taking place in south west London and also in Leeds.

The programme is being led by Jenna Downing, world in line skating world champion and she is being supported by Charlotte Hartley, ex England international hockey player. Jenna said:

"We have had a fantastic week launching the 'On Your Marks' phase of Get on Track this week for Merseyside’s first ever women only course.

The girls arrived on Day One very shy and quiet with many stating that they had no confidence and just being in a room full of new people was hard enough for some of them. Through the range of activities that Charlotte and I delivered however the girls gradually started to come out of their shell, interacting with each other, and getting stuck in to the tasks.

By Day Three the dreaded DGT (Don't Go There) challenge was upon them; a chance to demonstrate their ability to come together and work as a team to pass a series of challenges. It was a gruelling process for the girls, with many wanting to give up and tensions running high amongst the group. With time running out quickly the girls had one final chance to complete all eight tasks, and, by the skin of their teeth, they PASSED! Everybody jumped around and celebrated and rightly so!

To finish the week, in our feedback session the girls really opened up and said how in just three days they are already seeing changes within themselves. I am really excited to see how far these girls go on this course, I think they all have a lot of potential."


The programme now moves on to the second section of the programme 'Get Set'where our athletes and partners work to improve the soft skills and the employability prospects of the young people on the programme. The next phase is around building confidence, communication, self belief and to challenge poor habits or lifestyle choices. They also undertake activities they probably won’t have experienced before and these sessions are designed to stretch the group and get them out of their comfort zones, helping to make them more adaptable to change in the real world and understand how much they can achieve. 

If you want to follow the progress of the group, Jenna regularly tweets about the programmes she runs here - we'll feature an update here on our website as well.

Many thanks to Youth Fed and Comic Relief for their support on this programme.