Dallaglio Cycle Slam 2020
21 June - 9 July 2020

Valencia - Almeria // Almeria - Seville // Seville - Lisbon

Ollie's life changed the day his mum was diagnosed with cancer. He became disillusioned with life and after consistent misbehaviour and truancy at school, Ollie was excluded and relocated to an Alternative Provision school in Southwark.

"I just didn't want to be there" says Ollie of school when speaking about coming to terms with his mother's diagnosis. "And I wasn't in a place where I could understand the consequences".

Ollie's experience with Dallaglio RugbyWorks represents the power of mentoring.

Dallaglio RugbyWorks coach Kieran first met Ollie at his very first coaching session. "I would be lying if I said there was an instant bond" says Kieran. "It's a very difficult school as it is surrounded by gang culture which can make it a challenging session. As a coach, I decided to focus my attention on developing relationships outside of the session, and that is where Ollie and I started to get along, as we both share a love of football."

This rapport lay the foundation for Kieran and Ollie to work towards a clear goal together, to find a way to both enable him to pursue his dream of playing football whilst developing a career at the same time.

Ollie impressed on his first Career Taster Day at St James' Place Wealth Management and was offered work experience as a result of his engagement and interest in their work. This played a key role in sparking an aspiration in Ollie by helping him understand that he had choices. That summer was spent working closely with Kieran pulling a plan together, writing his CV, undertaking work experience placements and looking at various apprenticeships. Now in his third year of the programme, Ollie is undertaking a traineeship with an air conditioning company whilst playing semi-professional football.

Ollie recently represented Dallaglio RugbyWorks when meeting the Secretary of State for Education Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP. He showed confidence, honesty, maturity and humility when asked about his progress over recent months. He gave up his own time, a day off, to showcase how important the programme had been in his transition from AP to the world of work.

And long may that relationship continue, as we know Ollie has a very bright future.

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