Volunteering Award 2009/2010
David Codd, from Rowlatts Hill in Leicester, has won the Leicestershire First Volunteering Award for his work training disabled people to become sports coaches.
David’s own learning difficulties didn’t stop him becoming a football coach and he wanted to give other young disabled people the chance to lead sports sessions. Three years ago, he set up Leicestershire Buddies, to give disabled people the support they need to become coaches in sports - from cricket to indoor curling.
Becky Moss, sports development officer for Leicestershire County Council, and secretary for Buddies, who has cerebral palsy herself, nominated David and said: "David has done an incredible amount of work, all unpaid, because he believes so passionately in sports for everyone. Three years ago, there were hardy any disabled people leading sports sessions in Leicestershire, but now, thanks to the Buddies, there are 65, with another 30 currently training. David has helped almost all of them, either with one-to-one support, or by his fundraising activities.”
Maurice Thompson, the High Sheriff of Leicestershire, said: “The panel had a very difficult decision choosing just one overall winner for the Volunteer Award – we had some great nominations.
"Gwen Braden and Margaret Watts are volunteers at the Kathleen Rutland Home for the Blind, and have nearly 100 years of volunteering service between them.
"They were highly commended for serving others at a time of life when most people would expect to serve them! We finally selected David because of his invaluable work giving disabled people the chance to become sports leaders.”
Leicestershire Buddies offers support through training people for all levels of sports leadership, from basic skills to qualified coach, finding placements in clubs and giving one-to-one mentorship.
David’s work has inspired sports development professionals around the UK to improve coaching and sporting opportunities for disabled people. Lincolnshire and Derbyshire are both looking at setting up a similar scheme, based on the Leicestershire Buddies example.
David was delighted to receive the award. He said: “I’m very happy to have won. It’s an honour and it’s recognition for all the work. I’m donating the £3,000 prize money to Leicestershire Buddies, so it means we can carry on with our work, and do even more.”