FC Redwing’s award winning coach, Ben Morris, has urged everyone to get in touch with their local club and help out after claiming the Essex County FA’s #CelebrateEssex ‘Young Volunteer’ category for his commitment to grassroots football.
#CelebrateEssex promotes inspirational volunteer stories, motivating new faces and growing the grassroots community. Once nominations closed, a select group of young volunteers were chosen for a Twitter poll to identify the monthly winner who’d receive a prize and extra public plaudits. Ben won the vote in front of many strong challengers.
Essex has many excellent volunteers who are determined to develop themselves and emerge as the next generation of the local game. They coach and work with teams, referee, run events, promote the sport and champion the Respect Campaign. Ben shows huge commitment to get up early on Saturday mornings to coach children, who he has grown a strong bond with.
Ben started watching football from a very young age and began playing for FC Redwing when he became ten. He still plays now for one of Redwing’s Under 16s teams but only started coaching in August 2018. “Some of my mates and I started voluntarily coaching,” he recalled.
“I mainly carry out my volunteering at The Nest [FC Redwing's ground] every Saturday morning. I help to coach three teams - the boys’ ‘academy’, the Under 10s (Hawks) and the girls’ ‘academy’. I help the kids to understand the drills and, most importantly, make sure they are having fun!”
“I love coaching, and starting it is definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made. It is also very rewarding when you see how much the kids are improving, especially when the ones who didn't enjoy it at first come every week and enjoy playing football. For the Under 10s it is brilliant when they win their games and come to training the next week delighted.”
Ben claims his work with FC Redwing has had huge personal development benefits, and he’s urged anyone to get in touch with a team nearby so they can feel the same: “Just go for it. It is very rewarding and I used to be very shy, but this has increased my confidence massively.”
“Also, it is different to most volunteering. Each week is different to the last and it is always fun. If anyone is thinking about volunteering they should get in touch with their local team and start doing it as soon as possible because it will be one of your biggest regrets if you don't.”
Find out more about the #CelebrateEssex Competition on Twitter, or how to volunteer in Essex football in the 'Volunteers' menu above. You can also follow @EssexCountyFA on Twitter, whilst additional information is shared on Facebook by searching for ‘EssexFootball’.