As Managing Director and head of coaching at Qualitas, it has always been my ambition to head up an organisation focussed on providing innovative and enjoyable physical activity programmes to children of all ages, irrespective of their individual abilities.
I have always had a passion for sport, particularly football, and first started playing competitive football when I was 11 years old. After scoring 52 goals in my first season, I was signed by Derby County FC. After 2 years I was released and returned to play for my home club, AFC Dronfield where I contributed towards winning several trophies, and remained there until I was signed by Sheffield Wednesday FC at the age of 13. I stayed with Sheffield Wednesday until the age of 20, representing YTS and reserve teams before graduating to playing for the first team. During this period, I also represented Chesterfield District, Derbyshire schools and English schools. Whilst at Sheffield Wednesday, I also enjoyed the opportunity of playing professional football in Finland which was a great experience. Undoubtedly, the highlight of my football career was to play for Sheffield Wednesday’s first team at Basle in Switzerland in the Inter Toto cup alongside the great Trevor Francis who was an inspiration to me.
Unfortunately, serious injury curtailed my football career, but I wished to remain employed within the sports environment, so joined a leading sports provider, Esporta Gyms, commencing as a personal trainer and progressing through the ranks to fitness manager. It was also at this time that I undertook various FA coaching courses and badges so as to continue my football education. I subsequently moved onto David Lloyd Leisure where I fulfilled the roles of Operations, General and Area Sports Manager.
Understanding that my primary objective was always to run my own sports provision company, I started Qualitas in 2013, initially running a scholarship scheme for aspiring young footballers, and today this remains a strong element of our offering providing specialist coaching to over 120 elite standard youngsters spread over 9 squads who compete in the Junior Premier League. Since 2015, we have also offered specialist sports coaching to various schools in the Derbyshire and Yorkshire areas, and are now engaged in more than 60 schools, interacting with more than 18000 students. Our specialism is in providing innovative and affordable sports packages including a whole variety of different sports, which is constantly evolving and to which cycling and swimming have been added for the new academic year. We also provide CPD instruction utilising local experts and covering all aspects of the PE curriculum as well as more diverse subjects such as mental health and diversity. We employ only the very best coaches and utilise the very best facilities available.
It remains our objective to continue this expansion to ensure that every child has a development pathway available to them, and to provide them with the opportunities we all require for personal progression.