SEVEN years ago, Louis Faith was out of education and risked getting into petty crime.
But thanks to his hard work and the help of Pompey in the Community, he has been named in the Beyond Sport Inspirational Top 50.
To be alongside people who have changed sport or inspired whole countries is amazing.Louis Faith
The shortlist recognises people from across the world, involved in all different sports, who have made a difference to their community or future generations.
Louis appears in the top 50 alongside sporting stars like David Beckham and Muhammad Ali and other famous people like Michelle Obama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Prince Harry.
The 22-year-old, from Eastney, Portsmouth, said: ‘It was really surreal when I learnt Beyond Sport had named in their top 50. To be alongside people who have changed sport or inspired whole countries is amazing. It is great to be recognised because sometimes I feel like I haven’t done a lot.’
Louis started working for Pompey in the Community when he was 16 as an apprentice. He now runs weekly football and boxing sessions at Priory School, the Mountbatten Centre and Paulsgrove Community Centre. It was through his work with the organisation that he became a young ambassador for Beyond Sport which supports the use of sport to address issues in communities.
Louis added: ‘I have been to New York and met some really inspirational people. Last month, I went to their summit in London and I got to speak on a panel with the chief executive of Lycamobile and a woman who works for the San Francisco 49ers Foundation.
‘I had to speak in front of about 800 people looking at how sport can help reduce conflicts in the community.
‘I understand about sport helping with change because it helped me.
‘When I left school, I didn’t get into college and I was getting into trouble.
‘But thanks to Pompey in the Community and their sporting programmes, I was able to turn my life around.
‘I want to do the same for other young people in Portsmouth.’
Louis also thanked his Pompey in the Community mentor Jamie Harris saying he would not have made it without him.
Jamie said: ‘Louis is a huge inspiration to all young people and it has been a great honour to have been a part of his journey.’
The top 50 also includes Sir Keith Mills, who played a major part in ensuring the America’s Cup World Series came to Portsmouth, as well as working on Britain’s 2012 Olympic bid.