Success for Norwich City Community Sports Foundation youngster

Ryan Hunt has had a passion for football since he can first remember, and always dreamed of one day becoming a sports coach.

The youngster started out playing for his local community football club, and his talent on the pitch saw him involved with both the Community Sports Foundation’s (CSF) Boys’ Elite Player Development Centre (PDC) and Norwich City FC Academy.

In the classroom, however, Ryan struggled. Severely dyslexic, he has trouble with visual scanning, processing, and working memory. Because of this, he found it difficult to stay focussed and often got “lost” during lessons.

With GCSE’s looming, Ryan applied for the Foundation’s Football & Education programme, hoping he would obtain the grades required to gain a place.

“I was struggling badly,” explained Ryan. “I was revising pretty much every night, trying my hardest to study and pass my exams to get on to the course.”

Ryan was determined to gain more practical coaching experience; he took the time to volunteer at a number of CSF events and programmes throughout his teenage years.

“Football was something I always wanted to be involved in, I always tried hard to impress the other CSF staff and coaches just to show how much I really wanted to work there.”

Unfortunately, Ryan did not receive the grades to enrol on the Football & Education course but having proved his dedication with his volunteering, CSF offered Ryan a bespoke apprenticeship to become a support coach.

Since then, Ryan has completed his apprenticeship, and has now been offered a full-time role as a Community Sports Coach.

He has come on leaps and bounds and is developing into a really nice young man.” said CSF Coach Development Manager Laurence York. “I would like to stress how much hard work Ryan has put in to get himself to this point.”

Michelle Hunt, Ryan’s mother said: “The support and help that CSF has given Ryan has been nothing short of outstanding – right from a young age. He is doing what he loves, learning new things everyday and has achieved his goals.”

To find out more about Norwich City CSF coaching opportunities, please contact

Brentford FC CST launches an employment project for young carers in Ealing

To mark Young Carers Awareness Day last week (25th January) Brentford FC Community Sports Trust is launching a project that will help young carers develop a future beyond their caring roles.

With research showing that 70% of young carers are NEET’s, the project – coined the ‘Get Set programme’ – will support young carers in Ealing with training and employment opportunities.

Ali Umar, who is a young carer for his mum, will certainly reap the benefits from the project:

“As a young carer, I take care of my younger siblings and think of them before I think of myself. In practical terms, I take them to school, make food for them and look after them.

“Basically, I’ve had to grow up a lot faster, because I have to think like a grown-up.”

The project hopes to bridge the gap for young carers who are often denied training and educational opportunities due to care commitments. The programme will include work visits, placements, CV writing support, and workshops with potential employers.

Brentford FC CST already runs a hugely successful young carers’ project; last year alone the Trust worked with nearly 200 young carers through educational and sporting activities.
Lee Doyle, Chief Executive of Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, said:

“Since Ealing Council commissioned Brentford FC CST to run their young carers programme we have increased participation in the programme from 25 young carers to nearly 200.

“The Get Set programme aims to enhance the existing project and empower young carers to achieve their life goals – regardless of their personal circumstances.”

The Get Set Programme is funded by the Pathways charity and the Fearless Foundation, which was set-up in memory of Danny Fullbrook –a well-known and respected sports journalist for the Daily Star.

Mark Dickinson, who helped set up the Fearless Foundation, said:

“The Fearless Foundation’s ethos has always been about inspiring young people to achieve their goals; this project will help young carers receive specialist training and support that they vitally need.”

To learn more about the ‘Get Set’ programme please contact Kathryn on 0208 326 7044 or at

About Brentford FC CST:

With community work spanning three decades, Brentford FC Community Sports Trust has established itself as a pioneering organisation for the local community. It uses the power of sport to educate, motivate and inspire people from all walks of life.

Working in partnership with Brentford FC, the Trust offers a portfolio of programmes in education, health, sports participation and community engagement.

The Trust has won the ‘Football League Community Club of the Year’ award four times and now employs over 100 members of staff.


Easington Colliery to represent Sunderland AFC on the road to Wembley

Easington Colliery Primary School are one step closer to Wembley Stadium after winning the Sunderland AFC club final of the EFL Kids Cup.

The youngsters lifted the trophy after overcoming Toner Avenue in the final of the Foundation of Light hosted six-a-side tournament yesterday (Wednesday 17th January) which saw over 30 primary school teams battle it out at Silksworth Sports Complex for the chance to represent the Black Cats.

Easington Colliery will now travel to Leeds United’s Elland Road in March where they will face under 11 sides from the other northern-based Championship clubs in the regional qualifiers with the victors earning the chance face the winners of the southern section at Wembley in front of thousands of fans before the EFL SkyBet Play-Off Final in May.

“We’re buzzing after winning the tournament and looking forward to a really good trip to Leeds United,” said the team. “We’re very excited. Leeds are a big Championship club and it will be good to play there [at Elland Road].

“We’re confident and we think we’ve got a good chance of getting to Wembley.”

The EFL Kids Cup is supported by the EFL Trust and involves thousands of schoolchildren each year making it one of the country’s largest national football competitions.

The SAFC club final was organised by Foundation of Light as part of the charity’s school sports provision which is delivered in hundreds of schools and academies across the North East, improving access and participation to football and sport.

Helen Byrne, the Foundation’s Premier League Primary Stars Events Coordinator, added: “Today’s tournament has been a great opportunity for the kids to take part, especially for the winning team to go on and play at an amazing ground like Elland Road.

“The main aim today was to get as many kids as possible playing. We had over 240 youngsters from over 30 schools which was fantastic to see.

“It’s good to bring schools from Sunderland, South Tyneside, Washington and County Durham together and to give them opportunities to take part in a competition of this magnitude.

“We have numerous tournaments running throughout the year aimed at different age groups for boys and girls so there are plenty of chances to take part in different sports.”

For more information about Foundation of Light’s school sports, health and education programmes and how they can enhance your curriculum and inspire learning, email or call 0191 5515318.

USW graduate sets his sight on America

University of South Wales graduate Jake Mullinder believes studying the Community Football Coaching and Development Foundation Degree was the best decision he ever made, as he looks forward to advancing his coaching experience in America.

After nervously awaiting his A-Level results in 2014, Jake had no idea what to do next.

It wasn’t until he found the USW Foundation degree at Shrewsbury Town in the Community that his career aspirations flourished.

He commented: “After just 12 months on the USW course I went from doing P.E at sixth-form to delivering a soccer school to young children with Shrewsbury Town in the Community.

“From there, I got the opportunity to work on a variety of programmes from disability, to futsal, being a team leader on NCS and working at the advanced development centre.’’

Whilst studying for his degree, Jake also worked as Lead Community Coach at Shrewsbury Town in the Community and at The New Saints Ladies Football Club as a Goalkeeper Coach.

He hopes that all of this experience, alongside his degree, will help him one day achieve his dream of becoming a coach at an elite level.

He continued: “Working on a number of different programmes has really helped me to develop my confidence and allowed me to form a well-rounded and extensive knowledge of community sports.

“I have developed a huge passion for coaching and my desire is to one day work at the top level in the profession.

“I’d recommend the course to anyone looking at getting into sport, it was the best decision I ever made. A lot of people going to University have to wait until the final year of their course to get work experience, but at USW I managed to have 3 whole years of it.’’

After graduating last year, Jake became Shrewsbury Town in the Community’s Health and Inclusion co-ordinator.

In this role, Jake has overseen a number of programmes and has been involved in inspiring, educating and engaging people from a number of different backgrounds and abilities.

“I’ve been working at Shrewsbury Town in the Community now for three years, it has been a brilliant pathway for me and it’s fantastic to have been involved with the set up and seeing how the community sector has grown over the years.

“For me personally, working in the disability sector is the most fulfilling area, seeing kids having the opportunity to play football when they normally wouldn’t is a very rewarding position to have.’’

Looking forward, Jake sets his sight on bolstering his CV even further by gaining international coaching knowledge in America.

He added: “I’ll be involved in coaching a team over in America and working with goalkeepers of different ages. It’s really exciting and I’m looking forward to trying it and seeing where it will take me.’’

To find out more about the Community Football Coaching and Development Foundation Degree at USW visit:

JOB VACANCY: Women and Girls Development Officer at Northampton Town

The Northampton Town Football Club Community Trust is a pioneering charity that provides opportunities for all members of the local community to access quality sport and physical activity provision whatever their age, gender or ethnicity.

 An exciting opportunity has arisen for a passionate, enthusiastic and driven individual to join our team in the following position:

  Women & Girls Development Officer

 Northampton Town Football Club Community Trust are seeking to employ a dynamic individual with the necessary enthusiasm and commitment to increase participation of females in grassroots sport. Reporting to the Chief Executive, you will be responsible for the planning, delivery and monitoring of engaging sporting activities across Northamptonshire for women and girls.

All candidates will be subject to a fully enhanced DBS check.

 If you think you have the passion, skills and aptitude and want to be part of a dynamic team making a difference, please send your completed application form to:

 The closing date for applications is 5.00pm on Friday 19th January 2018.

 Interviews to take place week commencing Monday 22nd January 2018.

 For a full job specification, please click here.

Rob Green on the perfect degree for football supporters

Huddersfield Town goalkeeper Rob Green believes the BA Hons Business Management (Sports and Football) Degree is the perfect qualification for football supporters.

The former England international is currently studying to gain the degree through the Open University and the course uses case studies and examples from the football industry to help apply theory to real world situations.

It is a way of learning that appealed instantly to the 36-year-old: “I wanted to have an idea what I wanted to do after I finished playing,” said Green. “The BA Hons Business Management Degree felt like a natural step for me to take. 

“It is hard work but enjoyable at the same time. The course is made up of numerous modules looking at different business areas and not just reading book after book. I have had to take case studies and apply them to real life situations.” 

The course, which is three years long for full-time students or six years for part-time, is ideal for Green as the degree is remote learning. Even though Green has one eye on his future after he hangs up his gloves, the goalkeeper still has his hands full competing for Premier League club Huddersfield Town on a weekly basis.

“The beauty of the course is its flexibility, it works for everybody,” Green added. “I have spoken to other people studying the degree that are fans and they are clearly looking to get into football. 

“People can study this course from all walks of life. Fans can apply their learning to the team they support. A number of people have done this and it has been interesting to listen to their opinions. To learn in an environment where you passionately care is brilliant.” 

Green’s career started back in 1999, when he made his debut for Norwich City in the East Anglian derby against Ipswich Town. Since then, he has made nearly 600 league appearances including helping West Ham United and Norwich City win promotion to the Premier League.

Discussing how he feels the BA Hons Business Management (Sports and Football) Degree will benefit him in later life, Green concluded: “To stay in football in a non-coaching capacity is something that appeals to me. 

“I’ve looked at working with footballers during their transitional period from playing to retiring and finding roles for them to do and it may not necessarily be in football. 

“There are a number of avenues I would like to look at and they are ideas. Even if it takes me a while after I retire to find the right thing, it doesn’t mean that it is a bad experience. 

“People have many different jobs before they retire and the beauty of it is when footballers finish playing they are still young people and have a lot of life to live.” 

The next BA Hons Business Management (Sports and Football) Degree, which has no formal entry requirements begins in February, with the deadline for enrolment on 11th January. The following degree will begin in February 2018.

If you have any enquiries or for full information, please contact the Open University today by clicking here.