A CHANCE encounter during a stint of work experience led a young girl from Stretton to a new passion and an award for her dedication and support.
Megan Aston had never even heard of powerchair football before she was taken to the club at St George’s Park 18 months ago, but she now gives up her time week in, week out, to help coach the sport.
The 16-year-old recently received recognition for her contribution, when she was named young volunteer of the year in the East Staffordshire Sports Scholarship Awards.
Her dad, Simon, said: “I’m very proud of her. It’s nice to see that she has been so determined to carry on through with it.
“A lot of kids these days just have passing fads, but she has really taken this on board.
“She enjoys it so much, and gets so much pleasure out of working with the youngsters.”
Megan, who lives in Main Street, Stretton, was completing work experience at Shobnall Leisure Complex when she was introduced to powerchair football.
The De Ferrers Academy pupil was so impressed with the sport that she decided to volunteer there and fulfil that section of her Duke of Edinburgh Award.
She only had to do six months of work, but she enjoyed it so much that she kept it up.
Powerchair football is open for all people who are able to use an electric wheelchair. There are 35 teams playing in leagues around the UK, with one based at St George’s Park in Burton. Megan is involved in coaching the younger players in the development team.
The year 11 pupil has also organised a fund-raising activity for the group – a rock and roll bingo night at the Monk’s Bridge, which is run by her mum.
The evening raised £300 for the club.
Despite her passion for working with young people, she does not intend to go into coaching as a career. Instead, she is turning her attention to hairdressing, and is currently looking into apprenticeship schemes to help her reach her goals.
Sam Easton, head of year 11 at De Ferrers, said: “I am so proud of what she has achieved. She has overcome some difficult times at school and has shown her true value and potential.”