Legendary former Club Captain Ledley King and David Lammy, MP for Tottenham, took time out to speak with the group at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London, about the obstacles they have had overcome to get to where they are today.
Launched last November, Leadership Through Sport is an inclusive programme for 27 young people aged 16 - 24 years old, helping them to become the leaders of tomorrow.
Combining academic study, blue-chip employment in the City and developing leadership skills through sports coaching and mentoring, the project aims to build workplace skills, increase employability and help young people gain confidence and motivation.
The 18-month programme sees students attend the College to study for an Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) Level 3 qualification while putting their new skills into practice through a three-day-a-week work placement in some of the capital’s leading financial organisations.
Students also spend time with local primary schools, mentoring pupils during class time and supporting their after school clubs, helping to position themselves as key leaders in their communities.
Speaking about the challenges he faced during his professional playing career, Ledley told the group about the importance strong leadership and dedication played in helping him overcome his barriers.
“Even when you’re feeling down and times are difficult, you have to be focused and continue to be a leader. You have to keep motivation up, keep on moving and most importantly believe in yourself.”
Following the talk, Ledley said: “We’ve all heard the stories about how unemployment amongst young people is high at the moment, so this project goes a long way to addressing that.
“We need to be able to inspire the business people of the future to make the most of the opportunities given to them, which is why things like this are important.”
David Lammy MP, who spoke of his early memories growing up in Tottenham and how he began on the political ladder to becoming a Member of Parliament, said:
“A choral scholarship at Peterborough represented what I call my ‘Billie Elliot’ moment. It allowed me to experience what excellence is, to understand the hard work required and the feeling of pride that comes from achievement. We need to encourage our young people to aspire to excellence in whichever area they choose.”
College Accounting student, Haroon Ali, who is currently working at ICAP, a leading stock broker company, commented:
“The great thing about the session was that I was able to meet two heroic individuals and more importantly I can draw upon what they’ve said, which is to lead by example in schools, ensure I stay focused at College and give my utmost at work.”
Leadership Through Sport is now recruiting for next year’s programme, starting in September. To apply email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information about Leadership Through Sport visit: www.leadershipthroughsport.org