Darren Massey

Darren had many issues to deal with before he came to the Street Soccer Academy. He was concerned that those issues would leave him isolated and feeling like he was being judged.

The programme has made a big impact on my life. I had no confidence and low self-esteem. The programme reaffirmed that I can do something with my life.

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Darren felt judged

On attending the West Ham United Street Soccer Academy Darren opened up to us at the very beginning that he felt judged due to his past and current situation. That people would make their mind up about him without knowing him. The first time he met with one of our Coaches he had asked whether they knew anything about him. Our Coach responded with ‘of course’ – and Darren had been surprised that no judgement followed. He was instantly welcomed to the group.

A shining light

The belief, care and support we show in our young people meant that Darren quickly became a shining light within the Academy group. His confidence grew immensely and as an Amateur boxer, we encouraged him to use his skills to actually take warm-ups with the team at the start of each football coaching session. He rose to the challenge, and gained great respect from his team mates.

Young Ambassador

Darren went on to successfully complete the Academy programme and accepted the offered opportunity to talk about his personal experience at The Street Soccer Cup at the Home of England Football, St George’s Park in front of hundreds of others. Something he had never done before – and he was brilliant.

Darren has now secured a role at his local boxing club and continues to support the Foundation as a Young Ambassador.

Darren's Journey

Learn more about the Academy programme Darren was a part of or the Street Soccer Cup he played in at St George’s Park.

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