Join In helps football fan become coach
Have you always wanted to be a football coach but not known how to get involved? Do you want to give back to sport but don’t know who to contact?
Dan Hart was one of these passionate sportspeople who didn’t know how simple it could be to volunteer. But once Dan looked at the Join In website, he found Kingswood Falcons FC, who needed an under 10s coach.
Dan said, “I’ve always liked playing football. I’ve got a friend who went into youth coaching and was offered a job at Chelsea. When you stop playing you want to give something back. So instead of talking about it, this motivated me to do something”.
After hearing enough of Dan talking about football, his fiancée showed him the Join In website. So Dan decided to get in contact and that same day he received a call from Club Secretary, Denis Hassett. From that point onwards Dan was hooked on volunteering.
“I would champion volunteering every time. I don’t think people know they can just do it. I didn’t know the first thing about it.”
Impact on the club
Volunteer Club Secretary Denis, who co-founded Kingswood Falcons, is delighted to have Dan at the club.
“Effectively you’ve got a group of 10 or 11 lads that without him wouldn’t be able to play football, which is the greatest impact of all. Dan isn’t a parent. He wants to be there because he loves football and that makes the difference”.
He added, “Dan’s there every week. He’s keen to get on in his coaching and I really want to keep hold of him. He’s very much part of the club and I can’t speak too highly of him to be honest”.
And Dan’s confidence is growing as a coach with his under 10s team reaching the Epsom and Ewell Youth League Cup Final on 25 April. Dan said, “Most importantly it’s about creating an enjoyable and creative environment that the kids might not be getting anywhere else”.
Kingswood FC receiving the Charter Standard at Selhurst Park in 2014.
Developing as a coach
It’s not just Kingswood Falcons that have benefitted from this experience. Dan has also learnt a great amount and been supported by the club.
He said, “It was great for the club to fund my level 1 coaching qualification. It was genuinely interesting and more than just setting up cones. There were different people, experiences and outlooks that really interested me”.
As Dan intends to develop his coaching, volunteering at Kingswood Falcons has opened him to a bigger network within football.
“It’s been a really great new experience”, explained Dan. “I get to meet new people, new friends and learn new ideas. If I didn’t see the advert on Join In, then I probably would still be talking about doing it and not found a way in”.
Dan Hart in action coaching on a Saturday Morning with Kingswood Falcons.
You can get involved
People, such as Dan and Denis, are vital to grassroots football. And Join In’s research also found that sport volunteers feel closer to their community. Dan agrees,
“Volunteers are the lifeblood to our sport. We are all volunteers here at the club. We couldn’t run our club without volunteers. We can never get enough.”
“Give something back to the community”, he said. “Give something back to sport. If you love a sport passionately – eventually you will have to stop playing but that doesn’t have to be a full stop. Get involved and show the younger generation what you know by developing young creative minds”.
So the message is simple – anyone can volunteer. And Kingswood Falcon’s legendary founder, Denis, is always looking for more volunteers.
But it’s not just managers they are looking for. They need more volunteers for anything and everything. From the little shop they have on a Sunday to someone putting the nets up, everything is valuable.
Denis added, “I’m also looking for someone to run the website because at the moment I don’t get time. We’ve got our trials coming up in June where we need some more volunteers. Literally anything that could help our club would be appreciated as we couldn’t survive without volunteers”.
– Help out at Kingswood Falcon FC. Trials are on the 6, 11 and 13 June.
– If you were inspired by Dan, why not search for opportunities near you.
– Or if you’re a club that needs more volunteers, like Kingswood Falcons, create a club page.