England star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has praised the work of Street League after the charity featured in a BT Sport documentary.

In the documentary called 'Football Stories with The Ox', the 21-year-old Arsenal winger highlights the work of two charities backed by BT Sport’s Supporters Club initiative, Street League and Tackle Africa.

Funding from the Supporters Club helped Street League launch in Sheffield this year, and the powerful film focuses on some of the unemployed young people who the charity has supported in the North of England.

Oxlade-Chamberlain said: “That is the thing that stands out - projects like Street League represent hope for young people. It doesn't put it on a plate for them, there's still a lot of hard work that they have to do, but with things like football people will focus.”

Watch the documentary below: 

Scott, 24, is a participant on the Sheffield Academy and the film follows him on his daily commute across the city. He said: “When I wake up I want something that gets me out of bed. Once I'm out of bed I know that I'm going to be learning and taking steps into employment with Street League.”

Also featured in the short film is Sheffield Operations Manager, Bashir, who has been working with unemployed young people in the city for 10 years. Bashir has seen first-hand how Street League gives young people the confidence, skills and qualifications they need to find a job.

He said: "In Sheffield, young people face so many different challenges. There are so many that need the advice and guidance. All they want to do is progress into work or better themselves and that's what Street League is here to do.”

Bashir feels football is vitally important in building confidence. He explained: “The football brings people together and it addresses their confidence issues first and foremost. That then engages them into the programme that we offer. Once they engage into the programme, we can then develop and work with them. That's the beauty of football.”

In the film Matty, a graduate from the Manchester Street League Academy, visits the Sheffield programme and talks to the participants about how he secured a work placement with the Manchester Fire Service, which eventually became a full-time role.

He said: “At one point I just stopped looking (for a job). It was just draining me - every day when I was getting knocked back. It was hard and I was down. I felt like I was never going to get a job. Street League have helped me change my life.”

 

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