Rugby international paired with student for inspirational scheme

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A student from a Bradford academy has been chosen to work alongside a former GB rugby player on a local community project as part of a national mentoring initiative.

Akaash Rafiq has been selected for the Unlocking Potential mentoring programme, a joint scheme between the education charity AQA and the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust.

The Samuel Lister Academy student is one of just 20 students across the country to take part and will team up with former GB rugby player Paul Broadbent.

The programme helps to bring out the best in young people through social action projects and personal development challenges. The students, aged 14-19, were nominated by their teachers and will work alongside world-class athletes from the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust who will provide one-to-one mentoring and support throughout the project. Together, they will plan and produce a social action project in their local community.

Dame Kelly Holmes said: “Unlocking Potential is a unique personal development programme that will give Akaash a fantastic opportunity to make a really positive impact on his local community. In a programme delivered by world-class sports stars, Akaash has earned the chance to learn from world-class athletes, helping him to be the best he can be.”

The programme is now in its second year.

Samra Majid, one of Akaash’s teachers, said: “As soon as I saw what the unlocking potential programme was about, I knew Akaash would be perfect for it. He is a talented young man who needs to develop his confidence and self esteem. Akaash is beginning to realise his potential and with the support of Paul Broadbent and the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust, he can finally begin to explore the opportunities that are available to him.”