Waheed is a Sporting Hackney FC Youth Player who attends the BEK programme
How has having a mentor helped you?
'I wasn't really sure what mentors do'
When my football coach asked me if I wanted to have a mentor, I wasn't sure at first. I am from Afghanistan and English isn't my first language. I wasn't really sure what mentors do. I went home and spoke to my foster carer, 'Auntie', she explained all the ways a mentor would be able to help me. I'm so happy I said yes. Now I have another person who I can talk to if I'm worried or have any questions about my football or my studies. I know he'll help me.
I had an assignment last week at school I was nervous about; my mentor came with me to the library. He showed me how to make my point using evidence and analysis. My teacher was really pleased with my work and I felt so proud of myself and feel so lucky I have a mentor.
What are your ambitions for the future?
'… learning new skills..'
First to become a footballer. It's difficult but I'm training really hard, learning new skills, working on my free kicks and shooting. I haven't been playing that long. I played a bit with my friends when I first arrived in France, but I'm really improving now at the club.
Second, I'd like to be a mechanical engineer. I've applied to three colleges and I'm waiting to have an interview.
Would you like to become a mentor for young people in the future?
'Yes…It's helped me so much…'
Yes, I would. It's helped me so much and I'd like to help someone else. My mentor passed it on to me, so I have to pass it on to someone else. I learnt so much from this club, too much!
Who's your favourite footballer?
'Mbappe..he plays for the team..'
Kylian Mbappe. I love Paris Saint Germain. I like Mbappe because he's respectful. I was watching youtube and saw Neymar and Cavani fighting about taking a penalty. Mbappe was just standing there looking at them like ‘What are you guys doing?!' He's their best player, but he plays for the team, and I like that. I hope I meet him one day.
Read more about the programme or sign up.