Nicknamed ‘The Runner’ at school, that nickname has stuck and Adrian Tuitt has been moving fast ever since! His work started with motivating young people as a sports coach but has now become a much wider message to youth. Adrian understands that being young in the 21st century comes with a lot of pressure and he knows how easy it is to be knocked off course by life events. Adrian’s message is to believe in dreams and never give up the fight to succeed. This is his story.
Born in Hackney, Adrian is the first to admit that the area he lived in had its own unique toxic environment. So much so that his parents, after being subject to a burglary, decided to move the family. At that time Hackney had the gruesome nickname ‘the murder mile’ and with a young family, Adrian’s father knew that they would have to move. The family did not move far but Adrian remembers that they felt safer. Even so, Adrian says that he had seen the worst that the streets had to offer from a fairly young age, with robberies, stabbings and violence all too common.
School proved to be a challenge for Adrian. After Tyssen Primary School in Hackney he was sent to Haverstock Secondary School in Camden. Being unable to go to school in Hackney, Adrian’s parents were worried about how he would fit in. Would the boys from that part of London tolerate an impostor from Hackney?
Adrian left school without any qualifications. Where sport was concerned, however, it was a very different story and Adrian managed to get into college to do a sports science coaching course.
Adrian worked really hard and managed to get the grades to allow him to join a degree course at Luton University. However, the uni course turned out to be heavy with theory and light on actual hands-on experience and so, after a year, Adrian gave it up. His family were not at all happy that he had wasted the opportunity, but Adrian just knew that he was not on the path he was supposed to be on.
Keeping it real
Having ideals is one thing and actually living day-to-day is another and Adrian soon realised he needed to get a job of some sort. His sister got him a job stacking shelves in Waitrose, where she worked, and he used the money to taking driving lessons and a driving licence that he and his friends called ‘a pinkie’, after failing ten times! He also bought a car because he was never going to be kept down for long. Once again, Adrian just knew that this was not what he was supposed to be doing so, without a backward glance, he walked out of Waitrose, never to return!
The idea of coaching young people in sport had never left Adrian and he started to look online for any opportunity he could find. Eventually he found one and was invited to take a session as a trial. Adrian recalls what happened:
“I lost the whole group within a minute! The kids were running around the place, fighting and shouting and I was told that I was no good at coaching and that I would have to practise and come back when I knew what I was doing! It stung, but they put me in touch with an experienced coach, Ross. He and I became good friends and I shadowed him for six weeks learning the ropes of coaching.”
The Little Runners – Sports in Schools
Like everything Adrian turns his hand to, after a lot of hard work, seven-day weeks and 10 years of effort, ups and downs, The Little Runners, Sports for Schools was a success and it was then that Adrian started to think that he wanted to offer something for children that was more mental than physical. He decided he would be a motivational speaker. Adrian’s father had given him some tapes featuring motivational speaker, Les Brown. The seed was sown and Adrian remembers one other incident that prompted his change of direction.
Adrian, now focusing on his motivational speaking, has appeared on many different forums being interviewed about the work he does with young people. His aim is to show young people that there is a different path to take. With knife crime at almost epidemic proportions in inner cities, Adrian knows that the struggle is an uphill one. His influence and determination, and his own story have motivated countless young people of whom relate to him, because he was them!
Adrian is a man who has never done things by halves, and he has never taken no for an answer, so watch this space!