a potted autobiography

My early career was spent in factories, and latterly as a coal miner. In these places I learned a lot about work, life, people, and communities.

picture of alan williams

Holiday shirt 2011 to…

The demise of the coal mining industry and my new found love of running and everything outdoors opened up possibilities and sparked a new found confidence in me, and I thought sharing this with others would be a good thing to do.

In 1991 I emerged with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sport Studies from Sheffield Hallam University. At the time, the course was an eclectic mix of: social psychology, sport psychology, sociology, philosophy of sport, physiology, and biomechanics. Popular belief amongst the Environmental Studies students, with whom we shared a campus, was that course reading consisted of Bobby Charlton’s Book of Football, and a degree could be obtained from the toilet roll holder – “please take one”.

Picture of the front cover of a Book of Football featuring Bobby Charlton

Sports Studies degree course reading

After collecting my roll I went to work for Hampshire County Council as Sport and Recreation Manager for the Blackwater Valley Recreation and Countryside Management Service, where I was responsible for promoting sport and recreation in conjunction with the environmental needs of the Blackwater Valley.

I am currently employed by Sheffield City Council, Parks and Countryside, as a Project Officer. When not reading Bobby’s book, I manage projects focused around improvements and regeneration of open spaces, from parks and playgrounds to sports facilities, particularly playing field improvements and drainage. I also take the lead on strategic planning for outdoor sport.

A large part of my role is to work with community groups, in relation to group establishment; developing ideas – through to realisation; and fundraising. I spend an inordinate amount of time and effort dealing with youth nuisance and anti social behaviour – I am particularly interested in how we (society) engage with young and how we engender respect between young and old.

I have many qualifications – some with a ball, some without.

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