Tom, 22, had been signing on at the Job Centre for over a year before he found out about Street League. In the past, Tom had worked in a variety of sectors on short-term contracts including construction, coaching, warehousing and bar work, but was struggling to find a permanent role.

After being referred to Street League by the Job Centre, Tom attended a Street Football session where he met other participants who gave him an insight into the Academy programme. Tom decided to join the Academy, and immediately identified three areas he most wanted to improve. These were fitness, work experience and qualifications. Tom impressed Street League staff with his commitment to achieving these goals and was a real leader amongst the group, supporting and encouraging others with his positive attitude, as well as challenging himself by completing a number of projects. These included an 11-aside match, delivery of a sports day at a local primary school, and completing a formal mock interview led by Barclays staff.

During the Academy, Decathlon staff came to talk to the group about potential roles in their stores. Tom showed a keen interest and put his name forward for an interview. As he had a passion for bikes and cycling, he was given an interview in this department, and was successful in gaining work experience.

Tom showed 100% commitment whilst on his work placement, where he gained experience working in several departments and learnt how to complete many key retail tasks. At the end of the placement, Tom had impressed managers so much that he was offered a permanent contract.

Four months on, Tom is continuing to enjoy his work at Decathlon and doing well. Speaking about his time with Street League, Tom said: “Street league gave me the opportunity to be myself. I was feeling demotivated and negative about future job opportunities after not hearing anything back from the jobs I was applying for.

"Taking part in the course has brought me back to life! The opportunity at decathlon is not something I would have considered before Street League but I am really enjoying my time here and am hopeful for the future." 

Matt Smith, Tom’s manager at Decathlon said: “It’s great to have Tom on board, he’s a testament to the work Street League do with young people.”