Gareth, who has cerebral palsy, has dedicated large amounts of his free time to helping other disabled people take part in sport by volunteering with SMILE the past year. Gareth has developed so much in his time with SMILE that he’s now a fully fledged sports coach.
As a multi-sport coach, the 32-year-old from Durham helps SMILE deliver a wide variety of sporting activities, including cricket, seated volleyball, boccia, and curling, and has devoted more than 250 hours to the not-for-profit community interest company over the past year.
The Bishop Auckland College HND Sport student, who hopes to become a sports development officer within disability sport after graduation, was nominated for the award by SMILE’s managing director Rachel Miller. She said: “Gareth has been a great addition to our team and has worked so hard over the last year to gain the experience and qualifications he needs. We are so proud that he won this award as it is a great recognition of his dedication and hard work.”
Gareth, who among other sports enjoys wheelchair racing, said: “I was shocked and surprised to receive the award due to the quality of the other nominations and the fact I have never received such an accolade before, but I am very proud to have won.”
Natalie Davison-Terranova, Principal and Chief Executive of Bishop Auckland College, said she was delighted that Gareth’s contribution to disabled sport in the region had been recognised: “We are very proud of Gareth here at the college. He has shown such determination and commitment to developing disability sport in the North-East whilst also completing his Higher National Diploma.
“I am confident he will achieve his ambition of becoming a sports development officer within disability sport and enjoy a successful and fulfilling career.”
SMILE are always looking for enthusiastic coaches that want to develop and learn. If you’re interested in working or volunteering with us, please get in touch.