In October 2015 Stephen Shippey, our Club Welfare Officer, Executive committee member and all round good guy was awarded the Yorkshire Hero 2015 award. Steve’s Look North video is at the end of this article and replicated below are the words from the WRCFA web site which just about sums it all up – well done Steve – we are very proud of you!
Stephen Shippey of Garforth Rangers Football Club has been honoured by The Yorkshire Awards as 2015’s Community Hero
Thirteen years dedication to junior football with Garforth Rangers Football Club, has seen Steve coach at least one team every season since 2002, initially girls, then boys, and then girls again. He’s also been the club welfare officer and a member of the committee since 2010; making sure 70-80 volunteers have the appropriate credentials to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for almost 400 children every year.
More recently, Steve has been the driving force behind creating new girls teams and has worked together with West Riding County FA on the “Join Our Club” initiative. Caroline Hulme, Football Development Officer commented “It’s fantastic to see that Steve has been recognised in this manner. We are so fortunate to have volunteers like Steve in the county, without whom we simply couldn’t develop the game as well as we do. Garforth Rangers are an incredibly fortunate club, as Steve’s dedication and enthusiasm makes him a pleasure to work with”.
It’s testament to the character of Steve that he maintains this level of commitment whilst holding down a full time job. When asked about this recognition, Steve humbly remarked
“I think this award not only recognises my dedication over the years but also shows an appreciation of others like me that give a huge amount of time so that youngsters can enjoy playing football. I insist that children are always only given positive encouragement in a way that does not pressurise them or reduce their enjoyment of playing football. I want them to finish a match with a smile on their face knowing they have tried their best and enjoyed playing with friends and teammates whatever the result was. Results are often soon forgotten but good experiences aren’t and I would like them to be able to say I enjoyed playing football when Steve was our coach. There have also been many times when a parent has said their child was initially nervous and hesitant but following the way they have been treated it is the best thing that has happened to them.”
On behalf of West Riding County FA, we send our congratulations and sincere thanks to Steve for all his hard work. You can watch the TV report here