Michael first attended an estate football session on the Aylesbury when he was 11 years old. Michael’s main reason for attending was to improve his confidence and footballing skills. Michael had a habit of getting caught up in the wrong crowd, which lead him into trouble both at home and with the police.
Michael previously attended Walworth Academy, however at the age of 12 he was sent to Nigeria where he’s parents are from. The reason for this was due bad behaviour and Michael’s mum felt that the experience would teach him discipline. Michael returned to London when he was 14. His parents tried to get him back into school but due to a lack of available space at schools in Southwark, Michael was not able to attend school for a whole year. In September 2014 Michael was finally enrolled into St Thomas the Apostle College, however due to him spending a whole year out of school he was put into year 10 instead of year 11.
Michael started to volunteer with Active Communities Network, helping staff to set up sessions such as laying out cones, sorting out the teams before the session starts and refereeing matches. Michael’s positive engagement in sport has influenced his peers by encouraging them to become involved in sports sessions and moving away from gang activities. His determination and commitment in helping out in sessions has had a positive effect on the younger people he coaches who now look to him as a role model.
Michael did work experience with Active Communities Network as part of his school program. He is now back on track at school, he’s confidence is increasing and he feels that the sky is the limit. Michael parents feel that he is finally growing up and that he’s becoming a positive leader in the community. His short term goal is to become more involved in volunteering and to keep attending accredited and non-accredited courses to improve his CV. His long term goal is to gain as many GCSEs as possible and hopefully become an ambassador for ACN.
Most recently, Michael completed the VRQ in Using Sport to Tackle Youth Crime, an Equality and Diversity Workshop and completed an Introduction to Youth Work qualification during the summer of 2015. Michael feels that these qualifications will help him stand out from his peers when entering the working world. Growing up in such a difficult part of London, Michael is a shining example of how sport can help to have a positive impact on himself and the wider community. The dedication that he has shown thought his journey with ACN is to be applauded and we look forward to seeing his progress in the future.