Academy programme lifts sisters Cheryl and Elaine - Tees Valley Cheryl and Elaine are sisters who joined the Street League Academy after moving to Hartlepool from Norfolk. Both were unemployed and struggling to find work so they decided to make the move to the North-East with some friends. They first heard about the Academy programme through the Job Centre and as they were keen footballers, they were quick to sign up. It was clear from the first Street Football sessions that they were passionate about sport and eager to find employment. Despite some problems with living situations during their time at the Academy, this did not deter them, and the sisters were always first to arrive and last to leave. Whilst on the Academy Cheryl and Elaine were given an opportunity to deliver their first Community Sports Leadership Award session. Elaine ran a great session, but due to confidence issues Cheryl found it hard to deliver the session. However, Cheryl took it upon herself to improve her confidence and after a number of one-to-ones with Street League staff she started to create some in-depth session plans at home. Subsequently, Cheryl’s confidence has improved greatly, and she is now more than confident standing in front of groups of young people to deliver her sessions. Speaking about her time on the Academy, Cheryl said: “Street League helped build my confidence and helped me realise with a little work that I can be what I want to be. I enjoyed attending Street League and left feeling optimistic about my career. Thanks to Street League staff I now feel confident and comfortable in delivering sessions and being a valued member of any group.” Since graduating from the Academy, the girls have decided to pursue a career in the sports industry, and they have recently both started a Level 2 Gym Instructor course at their local college.