"wanting to do something that gave back to the community I chose to start a journey in to coaching"
Name: Iain Howard
From: Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Activity: Cricket and basketball
Where Iain coaches: Sentinel Cricket Club, Shrewsbury Dribblers, School Games, vulnerable groups
Iain’s coaching journey: When my marriage broke down in 2011 I realised I needed to find a new direction in the face of a bad time in my life.
Having been a keen sportsman all my life and wanting to do something that gave back to the community I chose to start a journey in to coaching, cricket was the natural fit as it’s my favourite sport and the one I have the most talent at.
At the same time the opportunity to start the basketball club came about and I decided to get that up and running at the same time as a way to get fit and meet new people.
There were few barriers to volunteering once I was put in touch with the council leisure services team and Energise Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, my local County Sports Partnership (CSP).
The cricket club and CSP were able to help with my coaching qualifications as well as my safeguarding and first aid courses, which was brilliant.
Volunteering has given me a huge amount. I have made new friends from different countries through the basketball club some of whom are in my closest circle of friends now.
The cricket club has become like a second family and are a constant in my life that I rely upon. My son joins me when I play and coach and he is (sort of!) getting in to cricket as much as I am.
The basketball club has brought together people from different countries which you don’t see so much in Shropshire.
We have players from Bulgaria, Poland, Germany, Spain and even China that play or have played with us.
I love our little international gathering on a Monday. I think it’s also helped spread a little more understanding and friendship at a time when the world seems to want to become more insular.