russ haley holding his award

Positive Football Environment Award

Russ Haley from Stone Dominoes Youth has been presented with the Staffordshire FA Positive Football Environment award.

Positive Football Environment award

Russ Haley from Stone Dominoes Youth has been presented with the Staffordshire FA Positive Football Environment award.

One parent's heartfelt account speaks volumes about Russ's exceptional dedication. A proud parent of a young lad with autism and Tourette syndrome, this testimonial highlights Russ's extraordinary efforts to understand and support players with cognitive and neurological disabilities. Russ goes beyond coaching; he invests time to grasp the unique challenges these young players face and adapts his teaching style to cater to their needs.

What sets Russ apart is his relentless determination to ensure that every player, regardless of their circumstances, feels valued and safe. He engages in meaningful conversations with both players and parents, addressing concerns and discussing potential changes that could cause distress. Russ's commitment goes beyond the pitch, exemplified by his willingness to sub a player for much-needed rest, even if it affects the team's dynamic, or keeping a fidgety player engaged and occupied off the field.

As more children aspire to join grassroots football, his exemplary approach paves the way for a more inclusive future. Russ's willingness to go the extra mile, to listen, adapt, and champion every child's right to enjoy the sport they love, sets a powerful example for coaches and managers everywhere.

Russ Haley isn't just a coach; he's an advocate for inclusivity and diversity in football. His commitment to understanding the needs of young players with cognitive and neurological differences and his dedication to implementing positive changes within his coaching style make him a beacon of inspiration. Russ's story serves as a reminder that with the right approach, every child's potential can be unlocked, and the beautiful game can truly be a source of joy and growth for everyone involved.

In a world where empathy and understanding sometimes take a backseat, Russ Haley stands as a shining example of what it means to be a true advocate for autism in football. His tireless efforts have transformed lives, proving that with passion, compassion, and a commitment to inclusion, the possibilities in grassroots football are boundless.

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.