I’m currently at sixth form and studying for my first year of A-Levels. We started the Get on Track programme at the end of April working with athlete mentors Rich Parker and Liz Cann.

I’ve been diagnosed with social anxiety so I find it difficult in social situations, especially where I have to talk in front of other people or if I’m on my own around people I don’t really know. I find it hard to start new activities because of feeling nervous around new situations.

I found the programme really interesting; I enjoyed the team building activities with my group the most although I found the sessions where we were talking about ourselves more difficult.

Working with Rich and Liz has been really good, they were both chatty and easy to talk to. They didn’t pressure us to do things we don’t want to, but instead they encouraged us to try new things. They’ve helped build up my confidence. I’m definitely more comfortable with talking in front of people and more confident in trying different things now.

Rich Parker, athlete mentor:

It’s been a real pleasure having Summer on the programme. Even when she has found things difficult or challenging, she has always done her best. Watching her step up when delivering the social action project was amazing, she came across as really confident with the kids and was also very engaging, not an easy thing to achieve with a group of year Sevens! Well done Summer!

Liz Cann, athlete mentor:

Summer has been amazing and a really key member of the group. She’s always engaged in the activities we have done and has shown so much growth over the weeks we’ve worked together. If Summer keeps challenging herself as she’s been doing, she has the potential for a really great future ahead of her.

I think my favourite part of the programme was getting to try different sports and activities, that was fun, especially the archery, I managed to get two golds back to back!

For our social action project, we decided to run a session for a class of year seven students to help build up their confidence and get them interacting and working with others. I felt really nervous before as I was going to be talking in front of people and running parts of the session myself, but once we started it felt really good and I enjoyed it, especially as the group of year Sevens really enjoyed it too.

Now that Get on Track is coming to an end, I’m definitely much more open and confident now, the programme has definitely helped me with that. When I finish my A levels next summer I’m planning to go to the US and work in Camp America for the summer.

If someone was to ask me about the programme, I would definitely recommend they do it. It really builds your confidence and gets you to try new things that you wouldn’t normally do.

This Get on Track programme was made possible thanks to funding from The Blagrave Trust. Layton attended a programme funded by the Blagrave Trust back in 2019.