Well deserved recognition and praise was given to James Price, Academy Junior Coach this weekend when he was awarded the much sought-after accolade of EDF Energy Young Community Volunteer of the Year, at the Suffolk Sports Awards, held at Trinity Park, Ipswich. James received his award from EDF Energy’s Niki Spatchett.
James is one of the Trust’s most prolific and hardworking young coaches, having recently graduated from the Football Club’s Young Leaders Programme. His advancement was made after attaining his FA Level 1 Football Coaching award in the week of his 16th birthday, and FA Goalkeeper Coaching award a few months after that. Being a playing goalkeeper himself, James has taken the role of Junior Youth Goalkeeper Coach for the Football Club, and each week delivers training sessions to over twenty young players aged 7 to 11. These are very busy but highly organised and structured events with very demanding and energetic participants. Being supported by young leaders, James is responsible for the session content and the season’s overall programme. Through these sessions, supporting holiday clubs and a host of other football events, James contributes over 400 voluntary hours service each season. James is a member of the Suffolk FA Football Futures scheme (recently being appointed as an Ambassador), a qualified referee and is also a committee member of the Suffolk FA WAYS League; all of which make him very busy indeed, and a great role model for all the children that he works with.
James Price organising S87 Junior Youth World Cup
A thoroughly pleased and excited James explained, “I’m really grateful for all the support I’ve had, most importantly from my mum. We live in Newmarket and with all my football happening in Bury she does an awful lot of driving for me. Also, I’d like to thank Floyd Croll my goalkeeper mentor, and for the massive opportunities given to me by Sporting 87 FC and its Young Leaders Programme. The FA’s Football Futures Scheme and Suffolk Sport have also been a great help… and I mustn’t forget the children that make the coaching such great fun and worthwhile. I will continue my Media Production studies at West Suffolk College, but also take on further FA courses; I just want to be the best coach that I can.”.
Tim Goddard, Sporting Trust, Player Development Officer added, “All credit to James; he’s risen to every challenge and made himself a key member of our staff at the Club and Trust. James’ sessions enliven and enthuse the children so much we’re seeing an unprecedented amount of players take turns in goal in our junior teams. We don’t have ‘a goalkeeper’ for each team anymore, we have a goalkeeper shirt that gets passed around!”.
The Football Club’s Young Leaders Programme is open to those that play for Club teams and non-club members. More information about the Programme can be found on the Club’s website.