Our Young Leaders and On Track to Achieve programmes have just gone past the halfway stage in Sheffield. Over 150 young people and students from Sheffield are taking part in these programmes, led by Trust athlete mentors who use their unique experience and skillset from the world of elite sport to act as positive role models and support the young people to achieve their potential.     

Young Leaders

Our Young Leaders programme, run in partnership with Sheffield United Community Foundation, is nearing the halfway stage and the group have been meeting every Monday evening for the last eight weeks under the guidance of athlete mentors, Commonwealth medalist and former Olympic swimmer Adam Whitehead and former England badminton player Jenny Wallwork. The programme is aimed at motivated young people aged 18 -25, who want to make positive differences within their communities and who are particularly interested in improving the health and wellbeing of others.

The Young Leaders are being challenged each week through taking part in a series of tasks that push them into their “stretch zone” to take on leadership roles within the group and learn to work as a team to succeed.  The group have also been developing their understanding of theories of wellbeing, group dynamics, session planning and more which they will be putting into practice when they host wellbeing sessions at the Move More Celebrates Olympic Legacy in Action event on Saturday 18th June.

One of the young leaders currently attending the programme said:

It just feels like one big family. It’s like a safe place where you can talk to each other and obviously we’re trying to all become leaders in some way, shape or form so there’s no judgement we’re all just trying to develop different leadership styles.


On Track to Achieve

Ten schools are taking part in On Track to Achieve, our wellbeing programme designed to unlock key skills in young people, increasing teachability and supporting OFSTED requirements. Young people have been working with their athlete mentors to develop their confidence, resilience and teamwork. They are now using these skills to create a social action project to make a positive difference to the wellbeing of children at a local primary school.  Ideas so far include “design your own wellbeing t-shirt” where children can design a t-shirt to keep with what makes them happy, and a wellbeing day with sports and physical activity challenges and the chance to try new fruit. Both of these projects demonstrate how physical activity and healthy eating can positively affect our physical and mental wellbeing. 


 Students attending the programme from Birley Academy said:

"I didn’t think I could do it but now I know I can."

"It means so much to have a mentor who believes in me."

Our athlete mentors use their experience from their sporting career to guide the students, but it’s the students themselves that come up with the ideas and are tasked with delivering the projects. All groups need to present their ideas to a Dragon’s Den, standing up and presenting ideas to a panel of adults can be daunting but the young people who have delivered so far have all taken on the challenge with confidence.  There has been an electric atmosphere at the Dragon’s Den and social action projects delivered so far and we are looking forward to the rest that are to come this summer.

Both of the above projects have been made possible thanks to our unique partnership with Westfield Health, a three-year commitment focused on improving the health and wellbeing of young people in Sheffield. You can find out more about our partnership here.