Local law firm recognise the importance of volunteering by sponsoring ‘Junior Coach of the Year’ ahead of Aberdeen’s Sports Awards 2017 Stronachs have sponsored the Junior Coach of the Year award category, which recognises young people who give up their own time to create more sporting opportunities to communities throughout Aberdeen. Kieran Henderson, 2016 Junior Coach of the Year winner, reflected on scooping the award last year and said: “the more I volunteer the more I can inspire others to be the best they can be and encourage them to volunteer in the future.” (See full case study below) Aberdeen's Sports Awards celebrates the wealth of sporting achievements and contributions made by local athletes, volunteers and clubs in encouraging individuals to be active. The ceremony, hosted by the Active Aberdeen Partnership, will be held at the AECC on Thursday 26th October with 18 categories in the running. Commenting on the awards, Active Aberdeen Partnership Chairman Tony Dawson said: “These awards are a brilliant opportunity to recognise the clear culture of sporting excellence and outstanding performance that Aberdeen has fostered. “The annual ceremony allows us to celebrate our city’s sporting communities and acknowledge those who go the extra mile by helping to provide opportunities for people to take up sport and physical activity. “It is brilliant that Stronachs have come on board for the second year running and have chosen to support such an influential category. Harnessing and celebrating the enthusiasm and sporting talent of young people throughout the city is essential and recognising the far-reaching effects that volunteering has on so many others within Aberdeen is key. Stronachs Director David Rennie said: “Participation in sports teaches life enhancing skills that really can make a difference to people's lives, so we at Stronachs are proud to be supporting this event and in particular the Sports Award for Junior Coach of the Year.” Kieran Henderson, 2016 Junior Coach of the Year winner, talks about the importance of volunteering your time to coach sport within the community. 1) How important is it for young people to volunteer their time in order to coach others? The more you volunteer to help young people the more experience and confidence you will gain. If you volunteer, you are doing it to gain experience and help other people rather than it just being a job. The more I volunteer the more I can inspire others to be the best they can be and encourage them to volunteer in the future. 2) What inspired you to coach young people and how did you get into coaching with Aberdeen FC Community Trust? When I was younger I loved football, I thought to myself if I love football so much why not coach it? I was 15-years-old when I started volunteering with AFCCT after my teacher put me in contact with the Trust. I volunteered 500 hours across different programmes that AFCCT deliver. 3) How does the dementia friendly programme impact participants and what other initiatives are you involved in through Aberdeen FC Community Trust? The Dementia programme helps people affected by dementia to stay active and included in the community. I have helped at Dementia Friendly walks, Technogym sessions, Boogie in the Bar, Footy Tea, I'm also a Youth Ambassador and I help out at various events when I have free time. 4) Through being a volunteer with Aberdeen FC Community Trust what qualifications have you gained that have helped towards your coaching? I have done my 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 Children’s Pathway and I am currently doing my Children’s Award. I also completed my dementia friends training and also attend 5 SFA/AFCCT in service nights each year. I plan to do more qualifications through my college, SFA and AFCCT in the future. 5) After winning the Junior Coach of the Year Award has this inspired you to pursue a coaching career? What are your future aspirations? Since winning the award last year I have continued to develop as a coach and this is the career that I am pursuing. Winning the award has provided lots of opportunities and new experiences and this can only move my career forward. I am grateful for winning the award and I want to thank everyone who have helped me over the last few years, I can't thank them enough.