A group of 13 young people from Newham College were
recently given the opportunity to interview Hammers defender Anton
Ferdinand as part of their 12-week programme supported by West Ham
The 16-25 year-olds were taking part in The Prince's Trust Team programme, which enables them to develop the skills they need to move into employment or further education or training and leads to nationally recognised qualifications.
For the last 10 years The Prince's Trust has used the power of football to help almost 11,000 young people get back into education and training and West Ham United were one of first Clubs to take part in the initiative, providing support to Teams which includes stadium tours, work placements, signed merchandise, match tickets and venues to celebrate the achievements of the young people.
Anton, who has been an Ambassador for The Trust for a number of years, was delighted to take part in the interview with the Team, which boasted a few fans of the Club. Here's a sample of what the England under-21 defender had to say during his interview:
Q. Have you had to overcome any barriers in your life or career and, if so, what advice would you give to people in a similar situation?
A. I've had to over come barriers coming from where I come from. I'm from Peckham and there's a lot that happens and I've had to stay away from a lot of things that could've have put me on a wrong path. But I would say think about what you want to do and if you know that's right for your then stick to it.
Q. What keeps you motivated?
A. For me being able to wake up and play a game that I love and work not just for the family that I have but for the one I hope to have in the future when I meet a nice girl and get married and have children of my own. When we were growing up we didn't have much so I want to be able to give my children the things they need.
Q. What made you become an ambassador for The Prince's Trust?
A. I always used to hear young people saying that footballers don't know where they are coming from but I come from the same background as a lot of the people The Trust works with and can relate to some of their issues. I hope I can help them to see that if I can do it, coming from my background, then so can you.
West Ham United is proud to be working with The Prince's Trust, helping young people in the East London area achieve their goals in life.
For more information about joining a team freephone 0800
842 842 or visit www.princes-trust.org.uk