The utilisation of non-formal educational methods has long been advocated as a means of supporting marginalised young people. For many in this cohort, the adverse social circumstances that confront them can limit their sense of hope and leave them susceptible to educational under-achievement and/or engagement in anti-social behaviour. Research indicates that sport can act as an effective back-drop for the promotion of non-formal educational programmes especially in relation to marginalised youth. However, there is contention over the role that such programmes play in providing a foundation for enhanced aspirational goals and social integration. Drawing upon research conducted on one UK-based sporting intervention, this paper explores how project engagement enabled participants to enhance their sense of hope, especially around education, training and employment. In so doing the paper demonstrates how the pedagogical approach adopted by project staff, drew parallels with critical education, and nurtured an increased sense of hope amongst participants.