A teenager has won a place on a unique sporting programme with top-class athletes.
Life has been tough for Joseph Kearns, 17, from South Leicestershire College, in South Wigston, whose mum died six years ago.
He now lives at the YMCA, but is carving himself a bright future thanks to his positive attitude and commitment.
Pictued: Joseph Kearns, right, with his mentor, Commonwealth champion Ross Davenport
He was nominated by his tutor, Caitlin McReynolds, for a place on the AQA and Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust's Unlocking Potential programme, which pairs youngsters with athletes in a bid to develop their confidence and provide an additional outlet for supporting their creativity.
Ms McReynolds said: "I nominated him because he's such an inspiration to others and has had to overcome some considerable challenges. "He lives at the YMCA and, yet despite this, manages to make it to college for every lesson and is always ready and willing to throw himself into any task that's put in front of him. His motivation is relentless and he's always happy to help others, too. Joseph's spirit is like nobody else and for that reason, he thoroughly deserves this."
Joseph said: "I feel honoured to have got on to the programme. I've enjoyed the day with Ross – getting to know him and the group and taking part in team activities."
Dame Kelly Holmes said: "I'm really excited about this year's Unlocking Potential programme. Last year we had such amazing transformations."
Publication date: Thursday 13th March 2014