Tom Kempster: Rising through the ranks


When he first became involved with Saints Foundation, Tom’s aim was to learn in a working environment… seven years later, and he’s made that environment his own.

Saints Foundation’s Education Programme kick offed almost seven years ago, and Tom Kempster, 22, was part of the original cohort.

“I got involved with Saints Foundation by chance,” Tom said. “ I stumbled across the Foundation’s Education Programme online, and the thought of learning in a working environment was something I knew suit me better than a standard college.”

“In my first two years I achieved a Triple Merit Level 3 National Diploma in Sport, before spending a further two years on the Foundation Degree in Football Community Development, while also gaining my Level 1 and 2 qualifications in Football Coaching, Level 2 in Youth Work, ECB Level 2 and Futsal Coaching Level 1.”

Saints Foundation’s Education Programme offers a range of accreditations for people aged 16 and over, and also offers multiple opportunities for them to gain valuable work experience in an operational sporting environment.

“I think the best bit about the Education Programme was learning in that environment at St Mary’s Stadium. You got to build rapport with the staff, familiarise yourself with elite surroundings, and travel the country representing Southampton Football Club.”

“Through being a part of the Education Programme I also got the opportunity to become a casual coach for the Foundation. I saw it as a great chance to put the skills I had learnt into practice.”

“I worked hard as a casual coach, and through that the opportunity to take on a full-time role at the Foundation came up. In October 2017 I took on the role of Saints Community Champion at St George Catholic College.”

“Whereas before I was just coaching football, now I support young people across the school and am delivering all of the Foundation’s core projects, from Saints Kicks to the Premier League Enterprise programme.”

“I use the skills I first learnt on the Education Programme to reach all kinds of different people in different ways, and it allows me to get the best out of the young people that I’m working with.”

“I think that because of the personable skills I’ve learnt through my time with Saints Foundation, there’s no situation I don’t feel comfortable in. I always feel like I can make a positive contribution no matter what.”

“Since I started with Saints Foundation all those years ago, there have been many memorable moments. I’ve been interviewed by BT Sport, taken participants to the Olympic Stadium and started a fantastic full-time job here.”

“I can honestly say that I wake up each morning loving my job, and if I hadn’t applied to be part of the Education Programme none of this would have been possible.”

To find out more about our Post-16 Education programmes, please contact Mark Gamble at

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