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Lifelong Walsall FC Fan Recognised as Community Champion

1 March 2024


Lifelong Walsall FC Fan Recognised as Community Champion

1 March 2024

Following the success of the Premier League Community captain awards for the Premier League's 30-year campaign, all EFL clubs and their CCOs have been asked to nominate individuals deserving recognition for their commitment to the local community as part of the Premier League's #PLMoreThanAGame campaign.

One member of our Community, Ryan, has been attending Walsall FC matches and participating in Foundation activities since the age of 3-years-old.

After over 10 years of being a participant on our sessions, Ryan reached out to our coaches on a Premier League Kicks session asking if he can go a step further and begin volunteering with us.

The Foundation were more than happy to take Ryan under our wing and began developing him as a coach, working alongside our staff members and with a variety of age groups. He has constantly demonstrated an eagerness to learn while maintaining a positive attitude towards this new challenge.

This approach towards his personal and professional development had made a lasting impression on our Foundation coaches and naturally resulted in Ryan being nominated to be our Premier League Community Champion award without hesitation.

Ryan’s mother told us: “Ryan is having the time of his life on Saturdays with the Club and said it’s so rewarding when you see the kids learning from you, he said it’s the best thing he's ever done and he's so grateful you gave him the chance to do his work experience with you guys.”

“He's so proud of winning ‘Community Champion’, it means so much more than just an award to him. Walsall FC has been in his life since 3 years old, watching matches, training there and he lives and breathes the club so this is something he will treasure forever.”

“Something only fans can understand. Representing WFC and you guys means so much more. Thanks again for everything you've done and still do for Ryan!"

PL Kicks Officer, Dan Jones, added: “I have known Ryan for several years now. Seeing him participate on various programmes and projects at the foundation and building a rapport with him and watching him grow into a polite and respectful young man.

"Since Ryan has started volunteering on our ‘Saturday Club’ and PL Kicks provision, I have seen a big improvement in his confidence and his overall coaching qualities. It has been an honour to assist Ryan in his coaching journey and I am looking forward to seeing his growth and progression as he continues his volunteering work at the Foundation.”

Ryan has acted as a role model for the youth across Walsall and is well deserving of this award and we look forward to developing his coaching further and looking for other ways to have Ryan support Foundation activities.

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