At a graduation ceremony held at the FA Headquarters in Soho, 13 'graduates' from the latest course talked about the personal development they have achieved through the Goals Project, the communication skills they have obtained and the goals they are now looking forward to pursuing in the future. The youngsters also proudly presented a screening of the short films they made during the project.
Speaking at the event, David said: "It's brilliant to see football being used in such a positive way through the Goals Project. I've seen for myself how the courses are helping to transform the lives of disadvantaged youngsters by developing their self-confidence and encouraging them to set their own personal goals for the future."
One graduate, Leon Douglas, 21, from Willesden said: "I came out of prison recently without much confidence in myself, but the Goals Project has shown me qualities I didn't even realise I had. It was a great experience and it's motivated me to get on with my life."
Another, Khalid Boukhmiss, 24, from North Kensington, recently dropped out of college. He said: "I used to hate everybody and never took responsibility for my actions. Now I've been on Goals, I've changed the way I feel and behave towards people. I now know I want to teach kids football."
The Goals Project is run by the Park Royal Partnership and Queen's Park Rangers FC with the support of the London Development Agency. It has already helped 55 people between the ages of 18-24 since the project started in 2001. The courses are run by professional trainers and private sector volunteers and combine classroom studies with weekly football coaching in QPR's stadium plus visits to high profile organisations including the FA, BBC Sport and McVities.
The LDA is London's job-creation agency. Working for the Mayor, and in conjunction with business and a wide range of other organisations, the LDA actively pursues economic opportunities for London and all Londoners. It uses its financial resources, property and land assets, and its influence to:
Â· Support business, industry and the economy
Â· Attract investment
Â· Develop skills and knowledge
Â· Revitalise the city
Â· Promote equality and diversity
Â· Unite London
Further information is available at www.lda.gov.uk