Sixteen year old Narimane, Nari to her friends, is just one of a number of local young people who have been supported through our Community Development initiatives thanks to funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Last year, Tottenham-based Nari was disengaged with school; she was often late, if she showed up at all, and found herself constantly in and out of trouble. “Before Tottenham Hotspur Foundation came to my school, I was always getting in to trouble – turning up late, messing around in class, being rude. I didn’t really see the point in being in school and had no idea what the future would hold,” Nari said. But when Foundation coach Rakim Richards began delivering multi-sport and mentoring sessions at the Octagon Pupil Referral Unit, Nari discovered that engaging more in her studies and taking part in the extra-curricular sports sessions would open up a number of future employment opportunities to her.“Nari stood out for me for the first time we delivered a session in her school,” Rakim said. “When I became her mentor I knew that working together would be an eventful journey. But through the sessions I began to understand who she was; we built up trust and formed a strong bond.”Nari soon developed a passion, and clear talent, for football and regularly attends the Foundation’s after school football provision, Kicks, designed to engage hard-to-reach audiences in productive activities across some of the toughest neighbourhoods in North London. During these sessions, if she isn’t taking part she is helping the coaches, eager to learn more about the game and how she can find employment through her love of the sport.“Nari has expressed an interest in enrolling on one of the Foundation’s Education and Football Development Centres, where she will have the opportunity to combine her sporting ability with academic studies”, Rakim added. “Since I explained to her that in order to do so she will need to have good attendance, always be on time and show good behaviour, she has improved her around lessons and school in general.”Nari added: “During the past five months working with the Foundation I’ve grown in confidence in my studies and sports, and having the coaches as mentors helps to make sure I stay on track with my school work. “I would recommend taking part in the Foundation’s after school programmes, like Kicks, to anyone. With the support from Rakim and the Foundation I hope to be able to progress onto one of the Foundation’s Education and Football Development Centre programmes so I can gain a qualification whilst playing football.”
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