ONE of the country's greatest athletes will help young people from a number of Bradford schools come out of their shell.

On Track to Achieve is a scheme that will start in Bradford schools next month. delivered by the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust.

It will see figures from a number of sports visiting the schools over an eight month period to work with pupils who have been identified as having low levels of self-confidence and self-esteem, or who have undergone hardship or circumstances that have affected their motivation.

In Bradford the programme has been funded by the Careers Enterprise Company, which connects schools and colleges to businesses. The Trust will be working with five local schools, Buttershaw Business and Enterprise College, Tong Leadership Academy, Hanson Academy, Carlton Bolling College and Oasis Academy Lister Park.

The sessions will be led by Dame Kelly Holmes Trust athlete mentors Paul Broadbent (Rugby League), Charlotte Hartley (GB Hockey) and Chris Elliott (Football).

Young people involved in the scheme will also design and take part in a community project that will make a positive local impact, and the Trust will introduce them to local businesses to develop their employability skills.

In partnership with Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership and Bradford Pathways, the Trust will also recruit local business mentors to work with the athletes to boost their career aspirations.

Mr Broadbent said: “We believe as a charity that every young person – no matter what their background or current circumstances – has the potential to lead a positive life. I can’t wait to start working with the young people in Bradford and to be able to support them to reach their full potential.

“Our programmes are proven to have a lasting impact – the short-term successes achieved, such as moving into employment or achieving in education, only represent the start of their journeys – it’s also about empowering young people to lead a healthy lifestyle, contribute within their communities and take others with them on their journey.”

Mick Chandsoor, from Education, Employment & Skills Team at Bradford Pathways said: “Bradford Pathways always look for new and innovative ideas and ways to work with schools: the On Track To Achieve programme that is going to be delivered by the Dame Kelly Homes Trust is exactly that.

"It’s exciting to see so many Bradford schools getting involved where it will have such a positive outcome for the students.”