Earlier this month, we sat down with Ollie’s mum, Helen, and talked about Ollie’s incredible journey with Shrewsbury Town.
What was Ollie‘s life like before he started his journey with Shrewsbury Town Foundation?
Prior to Ollie starting sessions at the Foundation, he was still in mainstream primary school where he had been very much excluded from sport even in during playtimes as he was unable to regulate himself and join in appropriately.
Along with his developmental trauma disorder, Ollie’s DCD (developmental coordination disorder) was quite profound time and hindered him doing lots of basic activities and he lacked confidence, physically, to do almost any age-appropriate tasks. He enjoyed sports this was always from the sidelines.
How have the Short Break session supported Ollie?
Since first attending sessions, Ollie has been able to experience playing and most importantly enjoying football. Complementing his occupational therapy work, and the support that he receives at his new therapeutic school Ollie‘s DCD has improved almost immeasurably. He has been able to participate in the sport he loves, grown in personal and physical confident and enjoys the acceptance of the adult to support at sessions and the friends that he has made in the sessions.
What difference has taking part has made toOllie?
Ollie‘s most recent school report has shown that despite having been excluded from sport for so long PE and sport is the area that he excels in and is actually ahead of his peers of all abilities.
His teachers are also able to communicate and teach him through the medium of sport and his knowledge of it.
What is Ollie like now and how has his life been enhanced?
It’s hard to put into words just how much Ollie has changed in under a year. Experiencing success, through the sessions that he attends, the live football matches, broadening his circle of friends, supporting his peer to peer relationships have all combined in a very confident Ollie who is beginning to understand himself and the world around him with much more clarity and positivity than he did before. This experience has influenced every aspect of Ollie‘s life physically and emotionally.
Have you noticed a positive change in Ollie since taking part in the sessions?
Within the sessions themselves he has definitely made positive advances. Although he always wanted to attend sessions, he would struggle with joining in on some of the activities if they weren’t on his terms. It’s very clear to see now that, although there are still elements that he might be more reluctant to do, he is now more inclined to participate in the session as a whole. It’s hard to imagine Ollie not attending the sessions any more as he values them, as do I, so greatly.
Mark Bull, Inclusion Coordinator at Shrewsbury Town FC Foundation added:
“The progress Ollie has shown in the last 12 to 18 months has been incredible. He has developed many valuable skills such as listening, communication and team work.
He has so much energy and enthusiasm which he brings to training sessions and on match days and has become an inspiration to the group”