COACH OF THE YEAR (DISABILITY PATHWAY)
Charles Sketchley from Burton Albion Ability Counts has been awarded the prestigious Staffordshire FA Grassroots Coach of The Year award for the Disability Pathway.
This recognition comes as no surprise to those who know him, as Charles has an extraordinary ability to connect with his participants, irrespective of their disabilities. With his infectious positivity, kindness, and unyielding support, he has made a significant impact on the lives of children and adults alike, both on and off the pitch.
Charles's passion for coaching goes beyond the game of football. He is more than just a coach; he is a mentor and a friend. Parents praise him for his exceptional ability to inspire confidence and foster positive behaviour in the players. Charles tailors his training sessions to suit the unique needs of each individual, instilling life skills that extend far beyond the football field. His calm demeanour radiates through the sessions, creating an engaging and enjoyable experience for all participants.
What sets Charles apart is that he doesn't let his own disability hold him back. Living with cerebral palsy (CP), he is a shining example of breaking barriers and challenging the stigma attached to disabilities. Through his coaching and personal journey, Charles is proving that limitations are only in the mind, and with determination, one can achieve anything.
Charles's influence extends beyond the football pitch. A parent shares a heart-warming story about how he transformed their daughter's life. Struggling with CP, their daughter found in Charles a compassionate confidant. He helped her manage her frustrations, cope with her feelings, and provided unwavering support. Charles's belief in her abilities motivated her to pursue the England CP Para Football Pathway, a remarkable achievement made possible by his guidance.
Charles's impact is not limited to individual players; he also worked with the girls' under-11 team, rekindling their passion for the game. His encouraging and uplifting attitude resonated with both teams during matches, fostering a sense of camaraderie and sportsmanship.
You can now buy tickets for our second-ever 'Celebrating Staffordshire Football' awards evening on Friday 15th September at Uttoxeter Racecourse. The presentation, which incorporates a three-course-dinner, will showcase and celebrate the outstanding achievements, projects and volunteers across the ever-growing grassroots game we all love.