Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has welcomed the football charity Street League to the city.
Street League uses football to help some of the most disadvantaged 16 to 25-year-olds develop key employability skills, such as teamwork, communication and goal-setting, and earn several nationally-recognised qualifications.
For every four young people who graduate from the Street League Academy, two find jobs and one moves into training.
Daniel said: “I’m pleased to be part of something so positive, which is really helping young people get jobs.
“I grew up in a similar situation to some of these people. Yes, they are disadvantaged but at the same time they can achieve something. They just need the confidence and support to actually go and achieve it.”
The Anfield ace joined a group of Street League graduates at the charity’s Liverpool headquarters in Speke, where Street Football sessions have started.
Daniel, 23, told the participants: “When I was younger, I grew up in an environment where there was a lot of bad things going on – I could easily have got involved in that.
“But I think it’s key that you realise what you have to do yourself, and that means being disciplined. I want to feel good about myself, I want to get up in the morning and feel like I have got a purpose.”
Street League already runs Academy programmes across London, Manchester, the Tees Valley, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Sturridge was supporting the launch in Liverpool in his role as an ambassador for Hyundai, who have donated £50,000 to Street League to fund the new Academy.
Academy graduate Dale Williams, 20, was thrilled to spend the day with one of his footballing heroes. Click here for more pictures.
“I really enjoyed it,” he said. “It was brilliant to meet Daniel and hear about how he got to where he is today. It was really inspiring and motivating.”