SMO had the pleasure of spending a Friday evening up at Beverley Longcroft School meeting the Tickton FMU Pan Disability Football team to find out what’s behind the long list of awards the team continues to attract both from the East Riding FA and its Community Awards, and more recently from Wheelchair Sports Hull.
From the moment we arrived, it’s easy to see why it’s impossible to stop smiling after you leave. The team run by Paul Adamson and Rich Towse, meet every Friday evening between 6pm and 8pm and have an absolute blast playing football with kids who experience a whole range of disabilities.
In particular, we wanted to talk a little bit further with East Riding FA’s Young Volunteer of the Year, 12-year-old Oliver Adamson – Pauls son who dedicates his spare time to coaching the players in the club:
So Ollie, you’re here week in week out – what makes you want to do this?
It’s about the smiles on their faces and how happy we make the kids. This team and activity means everything to them. For most of them, it’s the highlight of their week. We are all best of friends, and we each look up to each other. I spend time outside of the club with a lot of the players, and I love that.
From your perspective Ollie, what does this mean to them?
Well it means everything. These kids wear their kits at home and are always practising ready for when they come back. One of the boys travels every week from Burton Pidsea so we can spend this time together, it’s really special. We all countdown to Friday nights to get together, and everyone is gutted when it’s over. It’s a place for them to have fun, and let themselves go.
How does this impact on your life Ollie?
It’s great for me as I am recognised for my volunteering by the East Riding FA, and I now have almost 300 hours gained on their Football Futures programme. I also gain credits for a volunteering programme at my school – Beverley Grammar. It’s not always easy, my friends have sometimes teased me for what I do, but I’ve stood up to them and try and make people understand why I do what I do. I turn down a lot of other activities to do this, and spend time with the children – it’s always my first choice and my preference to do this.
If you could appeal to SMO fans to help your club in anyway, what would you say?
I would just appeal to others to tell people about this and share the work the club does. We really do need funding as well. It would go towards travel and new kits and help us pay for doing things together which means so much to the kids. We would love to keep growing our members, while we get good numbers we want to help as many kids as possible.
While Ollie is clearly a young man with exceptionally high standards and commitment, it’s also completely evident that the team and how it is managed is a real team effort. Lead by the bubbly Paul, who the kids absolutely idolise (and we think he idolises them to) and Rich Towse, the atmosphere in the room is heart melting. There is also Jane, Wheelchair Sports Hull’s Unsung Hero winner for 2015 who collects and manages the subs and club generally.
The format of the evening was football, futsal, penalties and not forgetting Friday night selfies with Paul.
The team will be having an open day at Longcroft School Beverley on the 3G pitch on Saturday 20th August. Taking place between 10:00 and 12:00, the club would like to welcome any children age 8-16 to come along and play for free.
The event is limited to 50 so please book a place through Paul at [email protected]
The open day is suitable for all disabilities including wheelchairs, and everyone that attends on the day will receive:
* An AFC Tickton medal
* A sport drink
* Free fruit courtesy of Tesco
* A freebie from SMO
Thanks for having us guys, we will definitely be back !