Adrian’s Journey from Sports Leader to Vice Chair Director

Adrian enrolled onto Sky Blues in the Community’s first Accelerate into Work programme in November 2016. Since achieving his Sports Leadership Level 1 Qualification (SL1), Adrian has used his new-found skills and confidence to step into the role of Vice Chair Director at Coventry Recovery Community (CRC) helping those in recovery to engage back into society:

 “Football has always been a big passion of mine. I was actually playing at a high level until I sustained a bad knee injury which led to having five operations and being on crutches for 2 years. At this point in my life, I lost my confidence and turned to alcohol and drugs. I was earning a good living for 15 years as a Ventilation Engineer but I decided to give up work and get into recovery.

 “I saw Sky Blues’ programme to mainly improve my confidence, engage better with other people, and keep myself busy.

I had already achieved The FA Level 1 Award in Coaching Football so I felt like the Sports Leadership course would go together.”

 “I struggled to engage with people before so the social side of the course was massive for me. It allowed me to engage with people more and better. The team building activities in the classroom and sports hall allowed my confidence to develop week-by-week.

“Delivering my own practical session helped my confidence a great deal as it got me out of my comfort zone – this part of the course encouraged to keep eye contact with people and communicate with confidence.

“I really enjoyed meeting and getting to know the group on the course. The blindfold task early on into the course brought us all together and it was funny to see the group struggling to find their way around when I was leading.

“The certificate presentation and photos on the pitch at Coventry City F.C’s last home game of the season felt great, like I really had achieved something whereas a couple of years ago I don’t think I could have done anything like this.

 “I am now the Vice Chair Director of Coventry Recovery Community (CRC). Being a leadership role – I try and hold the fort together. Day-to-day I am attracting and applying for funding to make sure CRC is sustainable. We’ve recently received funding from Coventry City Council to help our 600+ members.

“Through the Open College Network, I have up skilled myself by achieved qualifications in Drugs and Alcohol, Safeguarding, Group Intervention and Narcotics Psychotropic Substances.

“The role is very rewarding – seeing the happiness in people as they’re coming out recovery. This makes me feel good about what I’m doing – it keeps me motivated to keep people engaged.

“I’m not sure I’d be in this position if it wasn’t for Sky Blues in the Community. The confidence I gained through the programme has helped me step into this role at CRC. Even though it’s only a 6 week programme I noticed a massive change in myself and this is why we have referred people from CRC into onto the programme.

I have also used action planning tool we did in the first week for myself and for the CRC members I am supporting. It’s all about what engages people – finding out what like doing and putting it to them.

 “Before I wouldn’t organise much for myself or others but now I am planning ahead – even a couple of days ahead.

I now have a better relationship with my kids – my son is proud and always says, “My dad has done some work with Coventry City F.C.

 “Overall it’s been amazing – I would recommend anyone to do it. You might not think 6 weeks can change your life – but it has. Look the way I am now – my confidence has grown so much and I’m helping other people in addiction making a massive difference to their lives.”

Funded by the Big Lottery Fund and European Social Fund, the Accelerate Project has engaged with 450 people like Adrian across Coventry and Warwickshire. Sky Blues in the Community will be running more programmes over 2017/18. Please see below for 2017 dates:

Tuesday 5th September – Thursday 12th October

Tuesday 7th November – Thursday 14th December

Contact Sky Blues in the Community’s Training and Skills Officer, Andrew Hopcroft, via Email: or Telephone: 024 7678 6349 to enroll onto our next programme.

More information: