Before joining You Can Do Sport, I really was not sure what I wanted to do after
leaving secondary school. All I knew was I loved sport and working with young
children, so something within those industries is the pathway I wanted to follow.
I heard about YCDS through my secondary school teacher who knew I found it hard
adapting to new things and stepping out of my comfort zone, but she believed this
course would be perfect for me. At first, I had lots of different thoughts; will I be able
to do the work? am I going to consistently meet their expectations? Coming from a
black ethnic background, I also wondered if there was going to be a diverse group of
students. But these were soon overcome, and I realised I had nothing to worry
The ratio of boy to girl was very heavy and at the start it was a bit of a shock. But
very quickly I realised it didn’t matter as no one judged me and we become a unit
very quickly. After meeting my netball team mates and coach and I felt relaxed
straight away. We spent a lot of time getting to know one another which helped us all
as a group. The group was so approachable and so diverse, which automatically
made me feel so comfortable and part of a team.
I am a physical learner, so the fact the course offered so many opportunities to
develop beyond studying was really good for me. For example, I taught primary
school kids PE, coached some of our netball sessions, held a presentation on a
subject of my choice, and spoke to year 11s interested in doing the course about my
experiences, all things I could never had done before.
During my time at the academy I have grown as an individual and become a more
confident person. I have made some great friends, and amazing memories and feel
stronger both physically and mentally due to consistently being pushed in training
and our education. When we were not in school, for example in the holidays, we
were given exercise plans to maintain good health which has been a massive stress
reliever for me. Having supportive teachers was key for me because I knew I could
ask them whenever I needed to and I felt comfortable enough to do so.
I think the training is amazing because we were getting coached by high level
coaches with years of experience and who are still involved in the sport. The
sessions progress over the two years to become harder, and you get fitness tested
which is good as it makes you want to work harder and push yourself. Within my
sport we have been given the opportunities to join leagues and play friendlies
against other academies and experienced athletes. Our coach is so kind and so
motherly, we all feel comfortable enough to speak to her about anything whether it is
personal or to do with the academy. We gained a solid relationship with her very
quickly, due to her being extraordinarily strong minded and cares a lot about valuing
yourself, especially as a female.
Doing this course has made me think twice about going to university, I was adamant
I was not going to as I struggle meeting new people, but it has made me open my
mind to it. This has helped me so much in and out of college, for example I have
confidently applied for a job as I believe in myself now and that I wouldn’t struggle
working with new people.
My message to new students, is have an open mind to everything and always push
yourself to the max. This does not just help your teachers to see what type of person
you are, it also boosts your own self-esteem and makes you resilient and try harder.
The ratio of boy to girl is not important, it means nothing! You are all a part of one
team, and everyone has strengths and weaknesses, that’s what makes you who you
Overall, YCDS has been a journey I will not ever forget due to the people and how
much it has helped me to grow as an individual. It has taught me to never settle for
less than I deserve in all aspects of my life and to always push myself. I would like to
thank all the staff and coaches for their hard work and patience with me throughout
the 2 years.
Lexus Beckford, Netball Student, Class of 2022