A student from Northumberland College’s Football Academy has been awarded Northumberland Football Association’s Young Volunteer of the Year Award for his dedication to volunteering across local sporting clubs in the North East.
Second year, Level 3 Diploma in Sport (Football) student, 18-year-old Joey Harries from Cramlington, has clocked up hundreds of hours of volunteering and was presented with his Young Volunteer of the Year Award at half time of the Cup Final of the Northumberland Senior Cup at St. James's Park last month, for his dedication to coaching football.
Joey said: "This past year has been life changing for me and I have discovered my passion for working with young people in sport.
"To receive this award is a huge achievement and I couldn't have got to where I am now without the encouragement and support from my College tutors who motivated me to succeed."
Joey currently attends Northumberland College's Ashington campus, four days per week where he is Captain of the College's football team and last season helped lead his team to the last four of the National Men's Knockout Cup, ahead of all other North East College teams.
In his spare time he volunteers for Active Northumberland, Access Coaching and Cramlington FC, where he coaches their under 15's team as well as working on a part-time basis at Access Coaching.
Joey said: "The great thing about what I do is seeing the kids I work with develop, turn from children to young adults. They can relate to me since I'm only slightly older too."
Due to his commitment and enthusiasm to sport and coaching Joey has now secured full-time employment with Access Coaching, where he will be delivering P.E lessons for schools covering a range of 14 different sports.
Managing Director of Access Coaching, James Carron, said: "Joey has been a breath of fresh air since joining us, he is a knowledgeable, reliable, enthusiastic and motivated young man, he is a pleasure to work with and always represents us with distinction."
Head Coach and Sports tutor at Northumberland College, George Bramley said: "Joey is a hardworking, passionate student with a great future ahead of him in the sporting industry. This is a result of his hard work and dedication."
Modules within the Football Academy include sports coaching, work experience placements, fitness training and testing, and anatomy and physiology.
Students also get the chance to play for the Northumberland College Football team and have the use of two dedicated football pitches and changing facilities, Hirst Welfare all-weather pitch and Ashington Football Club.
Northumberland College and Berwick Rangers Football Club have also collaborated to offer budding footballers from the Berwick area aged 16-18-year-old the chance to gain qualifications as well as develop their practical football skills.
Simon Chalk, Academy Head of Sport at Northumberland College said: "Our Football Academy provides an experience that combines practical playing with academic achievement and life skills, providing all students with an excellent stepping stone to either professional playing, coaching or development work within football.
"It has been created to lead our students to careers such as semi-professional players, football coach, football development officer or facility manager so it's great to see our students doing just that."
To find out more about courses within Northumberland College's Sports Academy please visit www.northumberland.ac.uk or call 01670 841200.