A professional footballer turned coach has set up a one-of-a-kind sports academy in Yorkshire as he hopes to pass his love of sport onto the next generation of stars.
Jameel Nawaz, from Halifax, launched the J3 Sports Academy in September last year. With a team of qualified coaches by his side, the club aims to improve the participation in sport from youngsters aged between six and 13-years-old, as well as older teens and adults, whilst also teaching the skills and techniques needed in an array of activities.
From mixed martial arts (MMA) to cricket, rugby to football, and even freestyle football, the academy is a one of a kind with set-ups operating in Bradford and Halifax. Whether you want to turn professional in a sport, improve your skills, or just get fit, the academy has dedicated coaches in different fields to help you achieve your goals.
At just 25-years-old, Jameel may be considered a young coach yet his enthusiasm for sport, and passion to help children get involved, has seen the academy already begin to flourish under his leadership.
Having played at the highest level, for clubs such as Huddersfield Town, Halifax, AFC Emley and Liversedge, he explained why he thought it was the right time to launch the coaching programme.
“After picking up a few knocks and injuries whilst playing football I thought now was the time to take up coaching,” he explained.
“Huddersfield Town put me through the training where I was able to collect my official coaching badges and it was after that that I decided to set up the academy.
“I’ve always felt strongly about giving back to the community and with the academy we try to help others sustain healthy active lifestyles enabling participants to fulfil their potential.
“J3 Sports Academy is not like others, who charge an arm and a leg to just get involved, rather a minimal fee which covers the cost of renting the facilities and paying our coaches.”
Despite only launching last year, attendance figures are already very promising for the academy, with the Saturday and Sunday football sessions proving to be a big hit with the local children.
Running at Grange Technology College, Bradford, on Saturdays between 11am and 12pm, and Calderdale College, Halifax, on Sundays, between 2pm and 4pm, more than 30 children regularly turn up for the hour-long sessions.
Jameel was delighted to see so many youngsters taking up the sport he loves and hopes to see numbers continue to rise in the future.
“We are more than just a sports club and provide an opportunity for all to get involved,” he said.
“We aim to utilise the power of sport as a platform to inspire marginalised communities to get involved, whilst also tackling issues, such as racism and youth crime, by promoting community cohesion.
“Through some fantastic partnerships with schools and other organisations, we are already seeing a great number of people turn up to our events and hope to go from strength-to-strength.”
If you would like to get involved with the academy, whether that be in a coaching role or just taking up one of the many sports on offer, please contact Jameel at firstname.lastname@example.org