Young People Tahlia's Story Tahlia attended the Get on Track for Employability programme funded by South Western Railway and delivered at Park Community School in early 2021. The programme was delivered by our athlete mentors, boxer Hannah Beharry and Paralympic swimming champion Liz Johnson, Liz takes up the story: Tahlia was a member of the Sports Leader Programme at school before attending the Get on Track programme. Whilst she was very capable, she struggled with her confidence when leading independently or working with people outside of her immediate group of close friends. She is a very competitive person who has always really enjoyed sports and physical activity because she has a strong motivation to win. However there is much more that can be gained from participating in sport which is one of the key things Tahlia learned through being part of the programme. On Get on Track, Tahlia was able to test herself and prove her capabilities as she participated in a variety of group activities and was encouraged to take on a variety of different roles in order to increase her confidence. Tahlia proved to be a very willing and able member of the group and she connected really well with those who she had not worked with before which allowed her to push her boundaries and prove to herself that it was possible to utilise her skills outside the comfort zone of her immediate friendship group. She became a very reliable member of the group who was always willing to step up when given responsibility and interact when required to do so. One of the things that Tahlia enjoyed about the programme was that it didn’t feel stressful, even when she had to step out of her comfort zone and meet the challenge of new opportunities, because she found working with us as athlete mentors made the activities fun and enjoyable. She said that the range of activities meant that it felt like the element of difficulty got removed from the tasks so that they didn’t feel too daunting, and it was a safe environment to try new things. As part of the programme, the group attended a sailing and watersports day in Portsmouth. There were a wide variety of activities set to challenge the group throughout the programme. Tahlia felt that this helped her to gain skills that increased her confidence through delivering and working with new people and having to present ideas and responses to the wider group. She believes that this will help her going forward in her a role as a sports leader because she now has a better understanding of what leadership looks like. The freedom and structure of the programme encourages a level of ownership from the participants and Tahlia believes that this has also led to an improvement in her creativity skills. Tahlia believes that every aspect of the programme helped her in one way or another and appreciated the freedom and reflection that was involved within the activities as it enabled her to explore new areas of leadership and what that might look like. Planning activities and events within smaller groups also allowed participants to find their voices and learn to structure their thoughts. Tahlia said that the social action project involving travelling on trains and experiencing London enabled her to reflect on it being a far more efficient way to travel and helped with her feeling more comfortable and confident using public transport. The variety of tasks helped Tahlia build confidence and gain a wider perspective of those outside of her immediate friendship group. Her interaction with the wider peer group grew throughout the programme and she showed great character development during the duration of this Get On Track. Tahlia still has a few more years left at school before she needs to start narrowing down her career options and is currently keeping them open but should be extremely proud of how good a group member she is and the teamwork skills that she has developed. Her new found confidence can be carried with her into her sport leadership role and the bright future that she undoubtedly has ahead of her. This Get on Track for Employability programme was funded by South Western Railway as part of the Customer and Communities Improvement Fund. Two programmes were funded, one at Park Community School in Havant and the second at Woodlands Community College in Southampton.