Little over 10 years ago, Nathan and Lewis Turner were both excited youngsters dreaming of being a Leeds United professional footballer at a grassroots community event.
Last weekend they both returned to their roots as an ambassador of The Leeds United Foundation, as they visited the On Target programme at Old Cockburn Sports Hall, which is run by The Leeds United Foundation every Friday and Saturday evening.
On Target uses the positive power of football to engage with disaffected young people aged 8-19 years in areas identified by the police as “hotspots” for anti-social behaviour and crime.
Since initially participating on a Foundation course, Nathan and Lewis have played for Leeds United Academy Youth Team before signing professional terms at Leeds United.
Gary Waddington, Football Development Officer for The Leeds United Foundation said: “It’s great to see players taking time out to come down and be positive role models for young people can look up to. The children were so excited when they heard about the visit and it was fantastic to see them having a kick about with the Nathan & Lewis, as well as answering questions about their background and career.”
The project also provides older teenagers with the opportunity to gain qualifications such as Young Leaders Award to give them the opportunity to gain experience by coaching the younger children. The older players then have a great opportunity to access a Sports course specifically designed by The Leeds United Foundation to encourage opportunities in employment and education.
The On Target programme is supported by Leeds City Council, the Youth Service and is funded by The Football League, NPower and the Esmee Fairburn Foundation.