Ben is a footballer at Ellesmere Port, Chester and Neston Special Olympics group
Ben has been attending the EPCN Special Olympics for around 6 years and has competed at local, regional and national level in the sport of football.
Ben has a learning disability and sometimes struggles to communicate effectively with others due to being unable to read and write. Ben has worked hard to develop his self-confidence and has recently started to take on a more active role in supporting others.
Ben supports the volunteers and coaches at the club to deliver activity, he supports new members to the club within sessions acting as a buddy. Ben was identified by the volunteers at the club as a positive role model for others and works closely with individuals to support them.
Ben was able to gain greater levels of support from the club as result of investment from Active Cheshire. Active Cheshire helped the group to introduce wider activities to the current session and enabled Ben to grow and develop new ideas within sessions.
Whilst Ben struggles to complete formal training, the group are able to dedicate volunteers and coaches to support Ben’s development into a buddy for others.
The club have seen a massive improvement in Ben since he started at the club and his confidence, speech and ability have all flourished as a result. The Club are very proud of Ben’s journey and will continue to support his growth as a leader for the future.
Ben will be competing in this year’s Special Olympics National Games competition in Sheffield as part of the 7 a-side football team. Ben will act as a buddy to other teammates during this period. Ben has gained the respect of his teammates and also the volunteers working alongside him. He is virtually unrecognisable!