James Burke from Bestwood (Nottingham), now 22 years of age, was released from youth professional football at the age of 16 and like many, struggled for a while to come to terms with the rejection. At a time when some of his friends were getting involved in crime, James took part in his first project and was profoundly affected by his experiences. He returned to Nottingham and worked hard at College to complete his BTEC National Diploma in Sport, Development and Fitness. Following a second tour to South Africa in 2007, James captained the College Football Programme and visited schools to talk about his experiences. In 2007, he became the first student from South Nottingham College to represent The England Colleges National Team and toured Italy to play international matches against Italy, Poland, Rumania, Slovenia and Australia. He stayed on at College in 2008 to further his academic career, studying and completing a Personal Fitness Trainers Course and following his third and final Balls To Poverty tour to South Africa in 2008, James returned to Nottingham to secure a four year Degree soccer scholarship at Limestone University in South Carolina, USA. He is currently studying in his final year and has been offered the opportunity to stay on a study a Masters Degree whilst coaching in a support role. James still returns to College to talk to current students during his study holidays from his American University degree. He has been offered a semi-professional contract to play in Canada in the summer and is studying his FA Level 2 Coaching Award in Nottingham shortly to support his development in USA.
Danny Johnson from Ruddington (Nottingham), now 23 years of age, was underperforming at College as a seventeen year old and was close to being expelled from his course. Involved in two consecutive Balls To Poverty tours to South Africa in 2005 and 2006, Danny discovered a passion for football coaching and turned his life round to complete his NVQ qualification. Having completed his FA Level 1 Football Coaching Award in 2007, he left Ruddington for Johannesburg on a 10 month coaching programme. Returning to Nottingham in 2008 to study for his FA Level 2 Football Coaching and Football Psychology Level 1 Awards Danny successfully achieved both and progressed to work as a coach in The Football Performance Programme at College. Having successfully achieved his FA Level 3 Football Coaching Award in 2010, Danny coached at Mansfield Town Football Club Centre of Excellence, Nottingham University Men's Programme. In April 2010, he completed the whole cycle from 17 year old student to Programme Leader when he led students in their coaching sessions in 8 different townships across Cape Town. Employed in 2010 as a Balls To Poverty Schools Community Leader, Danny combined this position with coaching at Nottingham Forest Ladies in the Women's Premier League. He is currently the Head Coach and is also Director of The Nottingham Trent Universities Ladies Programme.
Kyle Wright, originally from Basford (Nottingham), now 22 years of age, was close to expulsion in March 2008 from College after getting himself in trouble with College tutors. Handed a life-line to go to South Africa in April 2008, he took the opportunity with both hands. Kyle returned to Nottingham and completed his BTEC National Diploma in Sport, Development and Fitness and returned in 2009 whilst studying a further year at College on a Personal Fitness Trainer's Course. Kyle led many coaching sessions in Nottingham primary schools and was invited to speak before groups of young people at other Colleges around England. Having achieved his Personal Fitness Trainers Award in July 2009, Kyle was awarded the Volunteer of the Year Award by Rushcliffe Borough Council in 2009 and was also short-listed by Nottinghamshire Sports Review for Volunteer of the Year Award in 2009. He is currently working for Nottingham City Council as a gym instructor for young school children, whilst also working in The College Football Performance Programme as Strength and Conditioning Coach and was chosen to speak at The City and Guilds Annual Lions Award in London in 2010 before 530 delegates to highlight his personal achievements.
Josh Bradshaw – from Clifton (Nottingham) and 18 years of age, Josh arrived at South Nottingham College in 2010 to study on the newly launched Balls To Poverty Sport Development Academic Level 2 course. He was fairly shy and low in self-confidence. Josh worked very hard during that first year, completed his Level 2 award, completed his FA Level 1 Football Coaching award and also fast-tracked himself onto the FA Level 2 Football Coaching Award all in the same year. He completed over 350 hours of community coaching and teaching on the Balls To Poverty Nottingham Schools Community Programme and travelled out to South Africa for the first time. Josh progressed so quickly that he earned a place for 2011 on a 2 year BTEC National Diploma in Sport, Development and Fitness Level 3 programme and was selected by Balls To Poverty to be an employed B2P Community Leader for 2011/12. Josh currently is responsible for a team of 10 students that he is managing across a 9 month period as they deliver coaching and teaching sessions in 30 Primary schools across disadvantaged communities across Nottingham. In addition to all this, Josh works voluntarily outside of college as local club coach in the community to support his studies as a coach. One of his aims is to complete his FA Level 2 Award and earn a position coaching football abroad.
Pete Cassidy – from Gamston (Nottingham) and now 23 years of age, Pete joined South Nottingham College as a shy and unconfident 16 year old from a local school and took part in the first ever Balls To Poverty tour in April 2005. He helped coach in Guguletu township in cape Town and helped hand out 30 footballs to school children from that community. Pete graduated from College 2 years later with a BTEC National Diploma in Sport, Development and Fitness (Level 3) and took part in 3 consecutive Balls To Poverty Programmes (2005, 2006 and 2007). Pete decided to continue his studies at The College, studying for a CYQ Personal Fitness Training Course and following graduation he earned a place at Nottingham Trent University on a Sport Development Degree Programme. At University, Pete was nominated President of The University Football Club and also raised £2,500 for charity in 2011 with a trip to Mt. Everest base camp. Having stayed in close contact with the Balls To Poverty Programme since leaving College, Pete decided to work on The Programme as part of his Degree dissertation and completed a research project collecting vital data for the programme. Pete returned to South Africa in April 2011 as a senior staff member to support and mentor students with their work in the townships. Due to the quality if his work and his commitment over the years, Pete was given the opportunity to work as The Balls To Poverty Corporate and Community Co-Ordinator for 2011/12, supporting Joe and Julie with aspects of management of the programme in Nottingham, South Africa and Uganda. Pete was selected to visit Buckingham Palace to receive The Queen's Award on 24th February 2012 as a representative for the Balls To Poverty Programme and to mark his own commitment and contribution to the success of the programme over the years.
Tom Hodgett – from Ruddington and now 21 years of age, Tom joined South Nottingham College in 2009 and completed his 2 year BTEC National Diploma in Sport, development and Fitness (Level 3). He took part in his first Balls To Poverty tour in 2009 and selected again in 2010, he gave up his place so that another student could experience South Africa. Tom won a place in The RAF following weeks of rigorous training and interviews and when Government cuts to funding meant that the place no longer existed, Tom re-evaluated his options quickly and re-enrolled on a CYQ Personal Fitness Training Award at College, whilst also working at a restaurant. In addition, the challenge became even greater for his time management when Tom was selected to receive the first ever student employed position on the Programme as The Balls To Poverty Corporate and Community Co-Ordinator in 2010/11. Tom was named Student of The Year and Governor's Student of The Year by South Nottingham College in 2010. Tom led much of the programme in the South African townships, acting as a leader and role model to the 36 students that took part. In late 2011, Tom was offered a full-time position as Manager of a Restaurant/ Bar in Nottingham, a very prestigious position for a young man of only 20 years of age!! Tom was selected to visit Buckingham Palace to receive The Queen's Award on 24th February 2012 as a representative for the Balls To Poverty Programme and to mark his own commitment and contribution to the success of the programme over the years.
Nathaneal Jones – from Aspley and now 20 years of age, Nat joined South Nottingham College in 2009/10 and completed his 2 year BTEC National Diploma in Business (level 3) recently. Working in his spare time as a project worker a his local community church group, Nathaneal took part in 2 consecutive Balls To Poverty Programmes in South Africa, completed his FA Level 1 Football Coaching award and also studied towards his FA Level 2 Award. Nathaneal earned a position with Balls To Poverty as a Community Leader, taking groups of students into primary schools across disadvantaged areas of the City of Nottingham in 2010/11, personally completing over 350 hours of community work. Nathaneal won a place at Loughborough University to study Business and Marketing in 2011/12 and is currently in his first year. Nathaneal was selected to visit Buckingham Palace to receive The Queen's Award on 24th February 2012 as a representative for the Balls To Poverty Programme and to mark his own commitment and contribution to the success of the programme over the years.
Filippa Bartlett – from Cotgrave (Nottingham) and now 21 years of age, Filippa joined South Nottingham College in 2009 and successfully completed her BTEC National Diploma in Sport, Development and Fitness in July 2010. Filippa played a huge role in the Balls To Poverty Programme in 2009/10 and completed hours of fund-raising and achieved over 400 hours of sports community coaching in the communities of Nottingham, winning the Dame Kelly Homes Award for Volunteering in the process. Filippa achieved her FA Level 1 Football Coaching award, RFU Rugby Ready and Rugby Leaders Awards and won a place at Sheffield Hallam University in October 2010. She is currently in her second year. Still engaged with The Balls To Poverty Programme and other departments at South Nottingham College, Filippa was selected to visit Buckingham Palace to receive The Queen's Award on 24th February 2012 as a representative for the Balls To Poverty Programme and to mark her own commitment and contribution to the success of the programme over the years.
Simon Barlow – from Wollaton and now 22 years of age, Simon arrived at South Nottingham College in 2009 and successfully completed his BTEC National Diploma in Sport, development and Fitness in July 2010. Simon, graduated to The University of Gloucester in October 2010 and is a member of the University Rugby Performance Programme. Simon, took part in 3 consecutive Balls To Poverty Programmes in South Africa when he was invited back to College in April 2011 to work as a Senior Staff member, guiding students in the delivery of their coaching sessions in townships. Approaching the end of his second year at University and still engaged with The Balls To Poverty Programme, Simon will be travelling to South Africa again in April 2012 to work as a Senior Staff member and a mentor to young students. Simon has played a huge role in the Balls To Poverty Programme and in 2009/10 alone, he completed over 400 hours of sports community coaching in the communities of Nottingham, winning the Dame Kelly Homes Award for Volunteering in the process. Simon also achieved his FA Level 1 Football Coaching award, RFU Rugby Ready and Rugby Leaders Awards and became an inspiration to many young people by losing over 7 stones in weight as his confidence and levels of self-esteem grew rapidly.
Matt Thomas – from Ruddington (Nottingham) and now 21 years of age, Matt joined South Nottingham College in 2008/9 and successfully completed his CYQ Level 3 Personal Fitness Trainer Course. Following this achievement, Matt progressed onto the College's Foundation Degree in Sports Coaching for a further 2 years, moving to The University of Gloucestershire in September 2011 to complete the degree. In his time at College, Matt took part in 3 consecutive Balls To Poverty Programmes and was employed as a Community Leader in both 2009/10 and 2010/11. In 2009, Matt won The Rushcliffe Borough Council Young Person of the Year Award and in 2011 won The South Nottingham College Higher Education Student of the Year Award. In April 2012, Matt will be travelling to South Africa to work as a Senior Staff member and mentor to younger students on the tour. Matt is currently carrying out a work placement project by mentoring the 6 current Community Leaders on the programme, supporting them all with their coach education and development.
Jide Fashola – from Lagos (Nigeria) and now 19 years of age, Jide had a very difficult upbringing with several family issues in his early years growing up in Nigeria. Jide moved to London in his early teenage years and spent a couple of years living rough on the streets. He later moved to Nottingham where he was supported by a legal guardian and was seen playing football with his friends by a scout from Notts County Football Club, who invited him for a trial. At that trial, Jide impressed and was offered the opportunity to train in the Club's Centre of Excellence. The Club approached South Nottingham College to see if Jide could study on a programme at College and play in the College's Football Performance Programme. Jide successfully completed his City and Guilds Level 2 sport development qualification (Balls To Poverty), visiting townships in South Africa for the first time in April 2011. Jide returned to Nottingham and completed over 250 hours of community coaching with young school children. In September 2011, Jide remained at College and progressed onto the BTEC National Diploma in sport, development and fitness (Level 3), also completing his FA Level 1 Football Coaching award. In an amazing life story for such a young person, Jide is considering his future possibly on a scholarship to an American University. He remains at Notts County Centre of Excellence and plays occasionally for the youth team
Connor Hardy – from Clifton and now 20 years of age, Connor joined South Nottingham College in 2008/9 and successfully completed his BTEC National Diploma in Sport, development and fitness. In 2009, Connor Hardy was selected to represent The British Colleges of Sport as a UK Ambassador for his community work on Balls To Poverty and also his work outside of College in the communities of Nottingham. In 2010 Connor was crowned East Midlands Further Education Sports Volunteer of the Year (supported by The Association of Colleges). Connor was selected by The Balls To Poverty Programme to be a Community Leader in 2009/2010 leading groups of students into Primary schools across Nottingham to coach over a 9 month period. Following 2 consecutive years taking part in The Balls To Poverty Programme in South Africa, Connor was offered the opportunity to work full-time with Programme Community Partner, EPIC (formerly known as My Community Sport). Connor is still working for the organisation and has played an instrumental role in organising and managing community sports projects across disadvantaged communities in Nottingham City over the past 18 months. Connor holds his FA Level 1 Football Coaching Award and has played a huge role in the Balls To Poverty Programme, still engaging to this day. In 2009/10 alone, he completed over 400 hours of sports community coaching in the communities of Nottingham, winning the Dame Kelly Holmes Award for Volunteering in the process.
Ben Elliott – from Cotgrave and now 22 years of age, Ben joined South Nottingham College in 2008 to study a BTEC National Diploma in Sport, Development and Coaching. He also studies his FA Level 2 Football Coaching Award and graduated from College in July 2009 to study a Foundation Degree in Sports coaching at The University of Central Lancashire. He graduated from UCLAN in July 2011 and having also completed his FA Level 2 Coaching Football Award, Ben returned to Nottingham in his time off, whilst still at University, to earn employment as a Balls To Poverty Community Leader, leading groups of students into primary schools across to Nottingham to teach and coach. Awarded Student of The Year in 2008, Ben was invited back again to South Africa in 2011 to work as a Senior Staff Member, leading the students into the townships of Cape Town to run coaching sessions. Selected in February 2012 to accompany Joe and team to Buckingham Palace to collect The Queen's Award, Ben is now working full-time in Nottingham as a learning support worker for young people in need of support with their education. Ben remains engaged and close to the Balls To Poverty Programme to this day.
The following former students to have been involved with The Balls To Poverty Programme have successfully progressed into Higher Education and/or industry-relevant employed positions. Here are just some of the achievements since 2005: