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Premier League Charitable Fund 10 Year Awards | Primary Stars

Sam Howard coaching children

In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Premier League Charitable Fund this week, we are delighted to announce our participant and staff nominations.

First up is the Primary Stars project, which we have thrilled to have been a part of since it launched in 2017 and it was even named our internal Project of the Year at our Annual Awards in 2018!

Our participant winner goes to someone who caught the attention of not only our staff who worked with him and his teachers who noticed an incredible change of attitude – but of his favourite author too.

Harlee was part of a cohort of pupils from Bishop Lonsdale Primary School who took part in our Reading Stars initiative who had previously been disinterested in reading.

On starting the programme he immediately became more engaged and the link to football and sport made him realise it wasn’t a chore to read.

He particularly liked the Jamie Johnson books by Dan Freedman. When the author saw Harlee’s Primary Stars video on social media he got in touch to gift him with the full, signed series.

Dan was taken with Harlee’s story as he recognised himself as the child who didn’t enjoy reading, but who grew up to be a published author!

Harlee was thrilled to receive the books and we’re so pleased that football helped to transform his views on reading.

Our staff winner goes to someone who is well-known across our entire Schools and Coaching network, having been part of the Derby County Community Trust furniture for some years!

Since the beginning of the Primary Stars project, Sam has supported over 60 teachers to increase their confidence in PE and has mentored colleagues to shape our Primary Stars project delivery.

When we asked teachers to support our nomination, their response confirmed just why he’s our winner!

“Sam’s dedication and commitment to making positive relationships with staff and improving their own subject development is second to none. He consistently goes above and beyond in every aspect of his job role.”

“In the years I have taught, Sam has been an inspiration to work with. His obvious love for sport comes across in his teaching and that in turn feeds back to the children. The children cheer when they find out that their lesson is going to be taught by Sam because they feel his passion.”

Sam not only works on the Primary Stars project, but also leads our Talent Identification Programme and has encouraged so many participants to fulfil their potential.

A huge congratulations from us all at Derby County Community Trust to our two Primary Stars nominees, who are now up for the Premier League’s national awards!