Tom's story: PL Inspires has helped my future look a lot more positive

By Mark Orlovac 28 Jul 2023
Tom PL Inspires

How Premier League programme and Man City offered support and encouragement

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Premier League Inspires

To mark this year's Premier League Inspires Challenge, we look at how the programme, which is supported by the Professional Footballers' Association, helps 11 to 25-year-olds fulfil their potential.

Tom (Man City)

Premier League Inspires creates opportunities for young people, helping them to develop their personal skills and positive attitudes needed to succeed in life, and for Tom, the programme has been life-changing. 

When he was younger, he did not have the best relationship with school life, struggling to engage with education and regularly missing lessons. 

Four years ago, he was identified as someone who could benefit from being part of the Premier League Inspires programme run by Manchester City’s charity, City in the Community (CITC). 

Now, thanks to his involvement in the programme, his relationship with school became far more positive and after excelling in his BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport and Football, he earned a CITC scholarship for a three-year degree course which began last September. 

In May, Tom was given the honour of carrying out the Premier League Trophy as part of Man City’s title celebrations.

"I wasn't really a fan of school, I wasn’t too bothered about what was going on, I just had to be there," says Tom. “I was a bit cheeky really, mischievous, and a few times I was on the verge of being kicked out. 

"When City first came in, I wasn’t interested at all. I initially thought that it’s going to get me out of a lesson which is a bit of a win.

"But straight away, the coaches were happy and were wanting to speak to us. I thought, ‘If they have made an effort with me, l'll make an effort with them.’ It went from there.

"I started to feel comfortable. I made a link with my coach as his first day was the same as mine and he has carried me through everything."

Every week Tom and his fellow attendees looked at a new topic such as diversity or managing finances, with opportunities to attend events where they were encouraged to engage with other people. 

Positive outlook

"We did a lot of things which you don't think are going to have a major impact and then before you know it, you're using it in your everyday life," says Tom.

"The work that was done with Premier League Inspires and Manchester City was such a beneficial part of my life, I didn't realise how much so at the time.

"I am now part time with CITC as a community outreach coach, working on Premier League Kicks. I've had the opportunities and I'd like to be able to pass new opportunities down, like my coach did with me.

"Without PL Inspires I wouldn’t have done my BTEC or the degree.

"The programme is my baseline, where my career started. It's made me what I am today and the future is a lot more positive now.

"It's one of the best things that someone can do."

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