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.
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”.
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.