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Willesden sports charity launches a £24,000 fundraiser to keep kids away from crime

PUBLISHED: 15:30 30 April 2019

Confidence Lawson, who trained at Track Academy, with its founder Connie Henry.

Confidence Lawson, who trained at Track Academy, with its founder Connie Henry.

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A Willesden charity has launched a £24,000 fundraising drive to continue helping young people steer clear of crime.

Track Academy, which operates from Willesden Sports Centre, boosts the life opportunities of vulnerable youngsters.

Throughout an ITV documentary Run For Your Life, which aired last week, the charity's founder Connie Henry highlighted the importance of sport in keeping youngsters on the right track.

One pupil, 28-year-old Confidence Lawson joined the academy in his teens following a crisis call from his PE teacher.

“Confidence's teacher had real concerns that he would be dead or in prison by the end of that year if his behaviour didn't change. So he came to us, Connie said. “There were behavioural traits, and groups that he was hanging out with, that were really distressing. But with our help he turned his life around. He's now an international athlete and a real inspiration to other students. I'm very proud of him.”

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Confidence said that Connie has been like a second mum to him. “She knows more about me than my actual parents; she tells me how it is,” he said. “I'm from an area where there was nothing to do after school. So coming to Track Academy was an escape from hanging about doing nothing. It gave me options.

“Now, I'm the one giving the younger ones advice. My path was made a lot easier by Track Academy and I'm grateful for that.”

The charity offers young people athletics training, education sessions and one-to-one mentoring and relies on financial help from individuals and organisations to survive.

Connie added: “We provide more than 1,000 sessions across 52 weeks for our young people. We've had members expelled from school 32 times and then go on to graduate from university, while others have been the first in their family to go to college. Some of our students have gone on to compete for their country in athletics.

“These young people deserve to fulfil their potential, but without our help they could easily fall through the cracks. So we're asking for financial help to give these kids the tools they need to succeed in life.”

To find out more and to donate to the cause, visit justgiving.com/campaign/getontrack

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