Tag Archive: coach

£20,000 coach donation gets pupils moving outside the classroom

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BRAND NEW: The minibus will replace the ‘run down’ former vehicle

BRAND NEW: The minibus will replace the ‘run down’ former vehicle

This school means bus-iness

Children at a special educational needs school in Knaresborough have been given an extra ‘drive’ to succeed this month after a brand new mini bus pulled up on their playground.

The £20,000 vehicle was donated by local businessman, Mahmood Mazhar, and will help children at The Forest School with all their transportation needs.

Organised in partnership with ‘Variety, the Children’s Charity’, pupils, staff and dignitaries were in attendance on Friday 23rd September for the official ribbon cutting.

Upon the donation of the ‘Sunshine Coach’, Mr Mazhar, of Core Telecom commented: “I’m delighted to have been able to work with both ‘Variety, the Children’s Charity’, and The Forest School to provide such a valuable service. I thoroughly look forward to our support benefitting both the students and staff.

“I’m passionate about making a difference to inspirational organisations and improving the lives of individuals who rely on them.”

HANDS UP: Children celebrate the arrival of their new bus

HANDS UP: Children celebrate the arrival of their new bus

The Forest school currently caters for 108 pupils who suffer from moderate to severe learning difficulties, Autism, Epilepsy, communication difficulties and other complex medical conditions.

The new 17-seater mini bus comes fully equipped with a tail lift to allow for wheelchair access and will replace the previous model which had been ‘driven to its limits’.

It will be utilised to provide invaluable experiences such as Duke of Edinburgh expeditions, training visits, sporting events and residential visits to outdoor activity centres.

The Mayor of Knaresborough, Bill Rigby, was present at the official unveiling alongside Town Crier, Roger Hewitt, who rang his bell and declared the bus as now belonging to The Forest School.

Headteacher, Peter Hewitt, thanked The Variety Club and Core Telecom for their support and explained how the bus would benefit the learning opportunities for all pupils.

ON THE MOVE: Mahmood Mazhar hands over the keys to the new minibus to The Forest School headteacher, Peter Hewitt

ON THE MOVE: Mahmood Mazhar hands over the keys to the new minibus to The Forest School headteacher, Peter Hewitt

He added: “Out of school visits would not be possible without us having our own specialist transport.

The students go to various and wide ranging activities during the school day, after school and during the school holidays.

“It is vital that our children have ‘real-life’ learning experiences. For example, learning about money in the classroom is great but there is no better place to learn such things than at the local supermarket and shops.

“We are so grateful to Core Telecom and Variety, The Children’s Charity, for supporting us in this way. By providing us with a new minibus they have made a significant difference to the learning and lives of our pupils.”

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Inspirational Sohail sets sights on football league

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A Keighley resident, who was forced to give up playing football after being restricted to a wheelchair, is now dedicating his life to helping others achieve success in the beautiful game.

At just 21-years-old, Sohail Rehman has become a pioneer for disabled sports coaches after he became the first wheelchair-bound fully-qualified football coach in the world.

Suffering from spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), he was restricted to a wheelchair at 13-years-old after growing up playing football with friends in the street.

COACH: Sohail Rehman hopes to manage a football league club one day as he continues his progression as a coach

COACH: Sohail Rehman hopes to manage a football league club one day as he continues his progression as a coach

From then, he has not only achieved his football coaching badges but also helped launch his own project, Class on Grass, which helps develop young players grow into the sport.

The inspirational coach currently trains Sunday league teams in the local area and explains why he got into coaching.

“Growing up, watching the likes of Ronaldo and Messi, I saw these players, and yes they are very talented, but always remember there's a group of coaches who have helped them all the way,” he said.

“I was just proud to become a coach. I love to be out there on a cold morning coaching and people might find that hard to believe but I love it.”

Sohail studied sports technology at college, and worked with the Manchester United disabled supporters association.

HONOURED: Sohail was recently named as an ambassador for the Intouch Foundation, pictured here with InTouch National Mobile Soup Kitchen Manager, Faisal Tariq

HONOURED: Sohail was recently named as an ambassador for the Intouch Foundation, pictured here with InTouch National Mobile Soup Kitchen Manager, Faisal Tariq

His passion for the Red Devils was further increased when he received a personal letter from former manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, commemorating him for his achievement in passing his coaching badges.

The Manchester United legend is one of Sohail’s biggest idols and he said it was unbelievable to receive such a mention.

Despite receiving praises from the highest level, it is in fact the grassroots game where the local coach is currently enjoying spending his time, helping children achieve their potential in football.

“I coach every day nearly and I love it,” he said.

“To help local kids in the community develop their skills is my personal highlight. Every kid wants to be a footballer and I just want to help them in their quest.

“The fact that they gain such enjoyment from football is great to see.”

Earlier this month, the football enthusiast became the latest ambassador for the charity, the Intouch Foundation.

Speaking about the foundation, Sohail added: “It's amazing the work they do. To stand out there once a week to feed the community is amazing; it's a great feeling.”

Faisal Tariq, InTouch National Mobile Soup Kitchen Manager, added: “Sohail was selected as an ambassador for InTouch as he is a role model and inspiration to everyone around the world.

“No matter what obstacles life has thrown at him he has never stopped chasing his dream, Sohail for me as  one of our ambassador gives us  the motivation to keep doing what we do best at InTouch Foundation which is being InTouch with those who are in need.”

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