Alfie: 20 years on

At the age of 10, Alfie was left with severe brain injuries after he was knocked down by a car. 20 years on he is a football coach teaching children with motor coordination difficulties to excel in football. Here Alfie tells us about life as a football coach.

 
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“I have the perfect job! I am now a childrens football coach at Enfield FC, working with Barnet, Enfield & Haringey’s Children & Young People’s Occupational Therapy team. The Occupational Therapy team wanted to work with sports in the community so they came to Enfield Town FC. The club offered weekly sessions with a professional coach and I was really chuffed to be asked to coach these kids. It feels great to make a difference to their lives. “I devise games that aim to include all children attending the sessions. The games are about working on their footy skills – tackling, passing, dribbling, shooting – and team skills. I get the children to move and run with a big emphasis on fun. If they are enjoying their session and joining in then I am doing a good job. It’s really great. I really enjoy it. It’s brilliant. “The kids respond to me using lots of encouragement and positive language. I just let them join in at their own pace. Some kids want to hang back for a while until they feel comfortable, which is fine. “When the children see you with lots of energy, being enthusiastic about the sport, they join in and get a lot of enjoyment out of it. My main aims are to coach the children to improve motor skills and their coordination, but playing in a team also helps their social skills and self-confidence, which is fantastic to see both on and off the pitch. “The club also give the children free tickets to home games and invite them to community events. This helps the kids to really feel part of the football family.
“At the age of nine I was scouted by Tottenham Hotspur Football Club and I played for their under nines team. A few months later at the age of 10 I was knocked down by a car. After 3 months in hospital, I arrived at the Children’s Trust on a stretcher needing a great deal of rehab and physio. My parents had been told by doctors in hospital that I would likely not be able to walk, talk or eat again. “11 months later I rode out on my bike and I haven’t looked back since! I have gone on to achieve a lot of personal goals that have taken me all over the world and I plan to keep on pushing myself to keep achieving what I can.” You can read Alfie’s incredible story here and his achievements since his rehab here.
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