Milton Keynes goalkeeping coach wins national hero award
He was presented with his trophy by Princess Anne
A Milton Keynes-based football goalkeeping coach has been recognised for his work during the Covid pandemic with a prestigious award at the annual UK Coaching Heroes.
From over 500 nominations, Lee Reade was one of just 25 coaches from across the UK rewarded for the considerable difference they made to people's mental and physical well-being during the pandemic.
He had his award presented to him by Princess Anne.
During the pandemic, Lee became a 'Cyber Coach,' organising online sessions including Jurassic Park-themed adventures.
Lee also ensured that his sessions had a keen focus on mental health, recognising the impact the pandemic had on many peoples' mental wellbeing. He also educating his students on other important topics such as diet and healthy eating.
A goalkeeper coach for the past 20 years, Lee said the award night was an extremely proud moment.
"As in many grassroots sports, a coach is often a background figure to any sporting success, so personal recognition was truly an honour," he said.
Lee, who runs coaching sessions and Summer day camps in MK, says the pandemic was the biggest challenge he's had in his coaching career," and he ended up working more hours than he would pre-Covid. But this was "totally justified" when he saw the skill levels of his goalkeepers on their return to coaching post-lockdown, he said,
Director of coaching Emma Atkins said: "Many congratulations to Lee and all our winners. We applaud your efforts and the role you played in your communities, boosting morale and lifting people's moods in a completely alienating time. Helping people to use sport and physical activity positively through challenging times is a privilege and one which carries huge responsibilities, and you took your duties seriously, using your initiative to create solutions to the embargo on most sport and physical activity – looking always to what was possible – thank you."
"As always a huge thank you for everything you have done from all at thekeeper.co.uk."