My life-long dream has always been to open a fitness and mentoring centre which will be based in London. The main building will be a gym but will also have a football/basketball pitch and a separate department with mentoring services aimed at young people.
I had a very small family growing up. In my area I was surrounded by a lot of crime and was constantly racially abused and bullied. In my later teenage years I played basketball for some professional teams in the hopes of achieving a career.
In 2007 everything changed. I was lucky to survive an attack which left me with a jaw and wrist fracture and bed-bound for some months. After the attack I felt alone and angry. Around this time a good friend of mine was stabbed to death. I fell into depression. The physical scars healed but it took years to deal with the emotional side of things. I couldn't play basketball anymore due to severe wrist and back pain but I managed to stay focussed with exercise.
Fitness became my therapy. In 2008 I went back to college and completed a Computing degree in 2013. Since then I have been working hard trying to save up to achieve this goal. Most of the centres around my area have been closed due to lack of funding and the young people who desperately need this support have no one to turn to. I've found that people are happy to speak about the problems but cross their arms when it comes to doing their bit to finding a solution. I was able to push through but unfortunately a lot of people aren't and resort to crime or suicide. I uploaded a picture of me as a little boy because sometimes I look at it and wish I could go back in the past to guide my young self through the things I went through. I'm obviously unable to do that but is symbolic of what I'm trying to do, to help others get healthy physically and mentally. Health is everything.
I'm trying to raise £5000 to kick-start this project called ROSE. It will educate people (both young and older) on how to eat, be fit and achieve their personal goals. It will also give support to those suffering in silence due to anti-social behaviour and violence. Please give whatever you can. No amount is too small. I appreciate the time you've taken to read this and will be updating you over the next few weeks. Thanks once again.