Having joined as a volunteer looking to be part of his local community, Graham is now making headway on the coaching pathway.
Before joining DSC Graham tells us he was not very active and spent most of his time bored watching television. In 2013 Graham was looking for work and stumbled across our advert at Southwark Volunteer Centre in 2013.
“Coaching at DSC will do” he thought. Since that day Graham has developed a love for coaching and become an integral part of the team, explaining, “Before I joined DSC I only watched football and boxing on the TV. Now I play sport 3 times a week and want to be a sports coach. The staff and coaches at DSC are some of my best friends.”
Graham volunteers each week at numerous Community Clubs, most notably Wandsworth. Graham is also our first port of call for support at events. Emma Cranston, Club Development Officer commented, “Graham is a hit wherever he goes. He is a superb example of how sport can turn around the life of a young person with a learning disability.”
Over the last 3 years Graham’s coaching skills and the manner in which he conducts himself within sessions has gone from strength to strength. Graham is described by a parent at Club Wandsworth as “an enthusiastic and passionate volunteer. Always keen to get involved, he provides wonderful support to coaches and all the participants. Nice chap.” It’s clear he makes a positive impression but his commitment shouldn’t be overlooked.
Graham’s dedication to DSC in the last year has lead to being recognised externally. In 2015 and 2016 respectively Graham was shortlisted for volunteer of the year in Westminster and Wandsworth. Graham this year also got an honourable mention at The London Sport Awards.
In January this year, Graham completed his FA Level 1 football qualification. Graham has since been working closely with DSC coaches to take more lead in sessions. Thanks must go to London Sport for supporting the funding of this qualification.
Graham’s energy and enthusiasm is irreplaceable at our Community clubs. We urge all young disabled people to follow in Graham’s footsteps and join our Community Club programme.
Inspired by Graham’s story? Get involved in any of the 3 ways below: