The programme started back in May 2020. I wasn’t doing a lot in my life at that time, I was kind of going through the motions of looking for work or looking at further education.

At the start, I found it all quite odd at first, I’d not done anything online like Zoom before. Once I got used to it though, I felt happy to share a bit and then a little bit more. I found as time went on, I was gently being pushed out of my comfort zone, and I started to answer questions I might not have answered before.

Working with my athlete mentor James has been really good for me personally. It’s really boosted my confidence. The last twelve months have been a really tough year for everyone, but doing this programme has been a highlight, it’s definitely been a good experience.

With James, we went over goal setting and working out how to go about achieving your goals, whether that’s for the day, for the week ahead or longer term - that really helped with boosting my confidence.

The whole programme has been done online but that hasn’t stopped us doing fitness stuff. We’ve done things like yoga and High Intensity Interval Session (HIIT) training, we also learned how to plan our own fitness sessions, so we were doing activity regularly in between our sessions. I planned my sessions so I pushed myself and challenged myself but made it achievable so I had a goal that I could hit each time.

We also did sessions looking at mental health, how we can look after it and what some of the triggers are and how we can keep an eye out for things like that.

James Kirton, athlete mentor

As the programme progressed, Rob has become happier to express his thoughts, his goals and dreams. Feeling secure within the group really brought him out of his shell and helped him to gain confidence. He’s a really positive character who when the right opportunity comes along I know will grab it.

During the last lockdown I really had a blip, I definitely took a knock when I couldn’t get to the gym. Now that lockdown has eased I’m going to the gym 3 to 4 times a week and making sure I get out for a walk every day. I mix it up in the gym so I’m always challenging myself, and not getting too comfortable. The first session back in the gym was a hard one but it was definitely a relief to get back into the gym.

Now the programme is coming to an end, in the short term I’m looking at employment. I’m a qualified mechanic, so I’m looking into going back into that or possibly teaching, but I’ve also looked at a broad variety of admin or IT roles – it’s just figuring out which direction I want to go in.

I’m a lot more active now than I was at the start of the programme, and I’m definitely thinking about how I can improve myself both in the gym and in my everyday life. I’ve learned more about working in teams and feeling comfortable talking in front of other people. Having accountability to other people has been a big part of the programme too. I know I’ve stuck to doing things because I’ve promised other people I’ll do them and I didn’t want to let them down.

If someone were to ask me if they should do this programme, I’d definitely say yes. It really boosts your confidence, helps you get active and helps you think about things you might not normally consider doing.

Rob attended the Get on Track for Wellbeing programme 100% 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.