Sunderland AFC players Duncan Watmore and Lee Camp joined club legend Kevin Ball at a special Foundation of Light coaching session this week.
The trio visited Sandhill View Academy on Monday where they took part in small-sided games with deaf youngsters delivered by the Foundation’s Making Moves disability team.
The event was led by former Sandhill View pupil and Coaches Academy trainee Jack Ramsey who will be the focus of an upcoming Premier League/BT Sport community feature.
Hearing-impaired, 18-year-old Jack began his journey on the charity’s evening and weekend courses and has become a role model for others with disabilities.
The Foundation has been great for me. When I was little, it gave me a chance to play football and be just like everyone else.
Now, it’s helping me do what I love. I’m studying to get my qualifications, and at the same time I’m coaching children who are in the position I once was. I don’t think I’d have been able to do any of this if the Foundation wasn’t there.
Starting out with Making Moves as a seven-year-old, Jack became involved with a number of Foundation programmes, as well as participating in England Talent Days which offer those with disabilities the opportunity to represent the Three Lions.
Progressing to the Coaches Academy, he is working towards his FA Level 2 qualification whilst delivering and supporting sports and education delivery.
Kevin Darke, Foundation of Light’s Inclusion Coordinator, added: “Jack has been a great role model for the young people we work with through Making Moves by showing them they can achieve anything they put their minds to.
“He builds great rapport with everyone he works with and actively engages participants in every one of his sessions. He has gone from strength to strength with the Coaches Academy, gaining confidence, raising his self-esteem and qualifications along the way.”
Making Moves provides opportunities for thousands of youngsters and children who have a wide range of disabilities such as Down’s Syndrome, Autism, Asperger’s, hearing impairment, visual impairment and wheelchair users to take part in a variety of sports and activities.
The programme is supported by the PL/BT Disability Fund and locally by SCS Sofas.
After the session, Duncan said: “Sometimes this is the best thing about being a footballer.
“There is no better feeling than scoring and winning a game in front of the fans, but it’s also about coming to events like this and putting a smile on people’s faces.
“It’s a big part of being a footballer. We have a social responsibility to the community and it is very important to get involved in these kind of events.
“I’ve really enjoyed it and I know Lee has as well.”
The feature will be shown on BT Sport 1 at 5.30pm on Sunday 13th May.
20 April 2018