This journey began when I was Physical Education Manager at HMP & Young Offenders’ Institute Ashfield.
This journey began when I was Physical Education Manager at HMP & Young Offenders’ Institute Ashfield. There, I learned the immense value of using sport to engage young offenders in prison. Through education, training, mentoring and a range of community partnerships, my team and I helped young people achieve a wide range of pro-social outcomes.
Our success in custody represented through a young persons journey in the video above, attracted media attention, which led to funding from the Football Foundation. This allowed me to set up the 2nd Chance Project CIC on 23rd May 2008. The organisation was founded on a simple belief that, if used appropriately, sport could help reduce the 83% re-offending rate. We started trading on 1st August 2008.
As someone who could have easily been a young offender myself once or twice, I believed it was my duty to become a role model and give offenders the same opportunities that sport had given me.
Growing up I played football, rugby and Australian Rules Football and even made an international appearance for GB. However, none of that comes close to the feeling of helping others rebuild their lives and make their own positive impact on society.
As the 2nd Chance Project has grown rapidly, I have taken great pride in promoting our impact and celebrating our success. One particularly proud moment was our re-brand as the 2nd Chance Group in 2015 to reflect the hugely diverse range of projects and services we had developed.
This was shortly followed by the launch of the National Alliance of Sport for the Desistance of Crime. To become recognised as a national leader and influencer has made every challenge and hurdle along our journey worthwhile.
I am now excited by the next eight years and by the people sharing our journey; my team of 2nd Chancers, who all have their own unique story, passion and belief in the power of sport. They inspire me every day!
We will continue to grow and inspire achievement and positive change across the UK and beyond, using the power of sport to repair broken lives and build a stronger future for young people.