Steve Hirst- Founder and Project Manager:
My name is Steve Hirst and I’m 28 years old. When I was 18 I got a job in a children’s sports play centre called ‘Kidsports.’ I was given some basic training and support and within 6 months became a head coach and duty manager. I was running summer camps at local schools, running kids parties and managing the site. There was one manager who really believed in me and gave me these opportunities.
I now feel I am in a position to empower other young people to do similar projects and this is why I have started RISE Community Sports. I see potential in a lot of young people within my community, but they currently don’t have the opportunities or support to thrive. I want to give mentoring support to particular young people to see them develop into professional and high-quality sports coaches.
I am a FA Level 2 football coach and have a BA Degree in Youth and Community Work. I have also worked in the community department of a Premier League Football Club.
I am very passionate about this project and am confident that it can be a success and that it will have huge benefit to individual’s lives and to the whole community. I remember the hype made about the ‘legacy’ of the London 2012 Olympics in our country. I unfortunately see very little legacy for the young people of Welsh House Farm estate, and I hope that this project will begin to start a true legacy that will last!
Wesley Firkins- Co-founder and Sports Coach:
My name is Wesley Firkins and I’m 21 years old. I have lived on the Welsh House Farm estate for 20 years and have always been a part of the local activities in the area. I have also done lots of voluntary work locally. I have been very involved in the Haven Centre over the years and they have helped me complete courses such as Sports Leaders award, FA Level 1 Football Coaching award and First Aid courses. These have inspired me to do more sports coaching across the area.
Growing up around the Welsh House Farm estate has given me great opportunities, some of which would not have been given if it wasn’t for the Haven centre and the community. I have a drive for sports coaching, and am passionate about passing the skills over and training young people. I have first-hand experience of the benefits it can have for them.
I’m determined that this project will go far, and that the people of Welsh House Farm will benefit from it. The community has given me so much support and now I’d like to give a little something back.