Athletics helped a teenage sprint sensation overcome his anger and do better at school.
Eden Davis’ success on the track has helped him put his life back on track after he became disruptive at his school, Yavneh College in Hillside Avenue.
Now the 15-year-old is to compete with other young people from Hertfordshire off the track after having been nominated for Young People of the Year award.
The YOPEY competition, which was set up in Hertfordshire ten years ago, rewards positive role models who go the extra mile to help others.
The Year 10 pupil, of Sinderby Close, Borehamwood, was nominated by his PE teacher Jonny McLoughlin after he noticed his pupil's raw talent and speed two years ago.
Mr McLoughlin tried to convince his parents to take him along to any athletics club to take up the sport but eventually took Eden to Herts Phoenix in Welwyn Garden City himself.
The sprint star now trains every Tuesday and Thursday and has since won a number of awards.
His mother Lisa said that she thought her son was just going through a phase, but knew his schoolwork was suffering and he was having problems with pupils and staff.
She said: “We were concerned at this situation and we know that staff at the school were also concerned but Mr McLoughlin could see the athletics potential in him and took him under his wing. He encouraged Eden and took him along to the athletics club and Eden has never looked back since.
“Over this last academic year there has been a huge improvement in Eden's behaviour, particularly at school, and his attitude to life.”
Mr McLoughlin added: “Eden is now a lot more positive in his general behaviour and attitude at school. He is quiet and insular, but he is now coming out of his shell and mixing better with others.”
Eden now works with the athletics club every Monday, giving coaching points to young pupils, and is also his school's Year 10 athletics coach.
He said: “Since going to the athletics club and putting my energy into sprinting I feel a lot better. Athletics is a great stress reliever. If I have a bad day at school and I go to training and let off steam I feel a lot better. I can exercise then have a laugh with the new friends that I have made.
“I feel my life has turned around and I feel that there are better things to come.”
The final will be held this autumn, where the competition will give away a top prize of £400 for the winner and another £400 for a good cause of their choice.