Greenhouse Sports pupil achieves place in prestigious public speaking finals
From excluded schoolboy to becoming one of London’s top young public speakers, Titas Zydellis, a Greenhouse Sports pupil talks to us about how our basketball programme at Brampton Manor Academy helped him turn his life around and achieve things he didn’t think were possible. This included a place in the finals of the prestigious Jack Petchey “Speak Out!” Challenge – a contest that identifies London’s top young public speaker.
Titas joined Brampton Manor Academy in 2013 in difficult circumstances after he was permanently excluded from his previous school and spent a term at a Pupil Referral Unit. Describing the behaviour that led to his exclusion from school, he says: “In my last school I was badly behaved. I had some older friends who were a bad influence. They smoked and drank and I used to join in with them.”
However, things soon changed after Titas joined his new school and joined the Greenhouse Sports basketball programme run by Head Coach Carl. Carl helped Titas to channel his energy positively and as his love for the game grew, Carl became more able to influence Titas’ attitude for the better.
Titas explains how his enjoyment of basketball helped him when he first started at Brampton Manor Academy: “Basketball made me want to come to school. My mentality got a lot better. I used to just follow my friends but now I’ve changed and I’m more interested in basketball and education.”
As he progressed, Titas became more committed to the programme and went on to win the highest attender and player of the year awards twice in a row. He was also selected to play for a national league club and, due to his ability to motivate others, Carl made him captain of the school team.
The school also noticed his improved confidence and communication skills in the classroom and the English department chose him to take part in a school public speaking competition which he won.
Titas went on to enter – and win – the Jack Petchey contest in Newham against tough competition which took him to the Grand Finals at the Piccadilly Theatre in July. He says: “I was very confident which I got from basketball. As a leader of a team, I always communicate with people and it helped me with my speech.”
Carl highlighted basketball as a key factor in helping Titas raise his aspirations and encourage him to change his life for the better.