Lockdown Blog… The Story of SK – Part One
Updated: May 24
Well, lockdown’s a bit boring, isn’t it? I’ve seen lots of positive messages though. One that did make me think was: “this is the time to do all those things you never had time to before”. And it’s true. I can no longer just say “I’m busy”, because, for once, I’m absolutely not. So, here’s my chance to embark on projects – or even just little tasks – that simply couldn’t be done in the day-to-day franticness that is life at SK. One of those many projects on the eternal ‘to-do’ list is a blog so, er, here goes…
Let’s start with how and why SK happened. I often get this question – from parents, football clubs, family, friends and anyone who shows an interest in it really. The answer is that SKFC certainly SK Football Coaching wasn’t the result of what you’d call a “natural birth” in business terms… In fact, we were essentially an accident – albeit a very happy one.
The three founder members – Peter, Ryan and I (Joe) – were all in funny stages of our coaching careers. It’s fair to say it was a hiatus. I had just begun a full time job which would be my first in a non-football coaching background. Peter was in the advanced stages of his university degree course, and Ryan had also moved from a full-time coaching role to a job in care. All of us consider football coaching as a favourite hobby, an all-encompassing interest – in fact, a way of life – rather than just a job. This meant that having so little football in our lives was a non-starter. We began to test waters and put irons in fires. However, after a few meetings with other organisations, a wise parent said “just do it on your own. Go on, we’re all behind you”. So we did. A meeting was called and SK Football Coaching was born.
So, what was our plan? Well, at that stage – even in our dreams – it wasn’t to be an organisation with ten members of staff, four junior football clubs, two development centres, roles in both primary & high schools and various other coaching programmes. At the start, we intended to be a community group, operating one session a week for players we already coached and for teams with which we were already involved. All we wanted SKFC to be was a hobby, our football fix. We knew we wanted to do something different; to create an environment where players benefited from professional coaching coupled with community values and NEVER to the detriment of their grassroots clubs.
But that was really the sum total of all we had planned – a community coaching centre to add to each player’s grassroots club. How on earth did we get to where we are now? Well at the tail end of August 2017, three months on from our inception, it all changed…