Wingate’s Williams eager to open up more opportunities with Sporting Kids
- Credit: Archant
The defender has teamed up with former Arsenal prospect Rene Steer to set up the multi-sports company
Wingate & Finchley’s Ola Williams has shown his talents lie away from just between the white lines having co-founded the multi-sports company, Sporting Kids with his good friend and former Arsenal prospect, Rene Steer.
The initiative has been designed to open opportunities for children and positively influence not only their physical growth, but personal well-being too.
Blues’ defender grew up with the sole option of football and although universal, Williams aims to highlight the importance of exploring more sports in the hopes of utilising its beneficiary advantages within the north London and Hertfordshire areas.
The semi-professional Finchley man knows all about the effervescent experiences that sport creates having been a part of the famous 2010/11 treble-winning squad at Summers Lane - and accumulated over 250 appearances for the Blues.
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Yet the main focus of Sporting Kids is to bring the community together and champion a healthy pathway within the vicinity of a fun environment.
“My friend, Rene Steer came to me with the idea to start a multi-sports company and for me it was a no-brainer,” he said.
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“We’ve always wanted to work with children to give them the opportunity to have access to a variety of sports in a safe and fun environment.
“We want to promote a healthy, active lifestyle in our local community through our work with schools and charities.
“It’s about the younger generation and getting them involved in learning, having fun and giving them a chance try out different types of sports.
“When I was a kid all we knew was football because that’s all that was out there. Now we can give the kids options to try out basketball, tennis, athletics, golf and many more sports.
“The message we are trying to get across is just to enjoy and have fun, that’s what sports is all about as a kid.”
Williams has been empowered with his own coaching knowledge from playing under a variety of football mentors – in particular the late, Cuthbert Martin - who he credits for steering himself in the right direction.
And the versatile full-back says playing sport brought to fruition avenues that he never knew existed, which drives his motivation to leave a legacy of his own.
“Football helped me a lot in life,” he continued. “My biggest inspiration in football to this day is Cuthbert Martin, who was my Sunday league manager. He sadly passed away in 2005.
“He taught me discipline on and off the field, got most of the boys in the north/north west London [area] off the roads and tried to help them get on the right track.
“He was a man of the community; there are things he taught me that I still take on and use to this day.
“I want to use what he taught me to also help the kids in the community - sports play a massive role in that - because it gives the kids something to do.
“What I’ve learnt is regardless of who comes in or out, you’ve just got to be consistent in your performances.
“In non-league, players can come in at any time to put pressure on and they want your shirt, so you’ve always got to be on your A-game.
“I’ve personally learnt from my past experiences it’s not always about ability, you’ve got to have the right attitude and discipline to go with it.
“I found out the hard way during the early stages of my career, which I’ve learnt from now and being one of the senior players, I’ve got to set an example to the younger ones coming up.”
The former Pinnacle Youth star has acquired the services of Maurice Rebak Stadium teammate, Tanasheh Abrahams and points to the gravity that getting involved early in an environment which promotes team spirit can constitute growth.
Williams’ passion for playing football has seen him hone his coaching skills through various qualifications - and feels a responsibility to pass on that knowledge - with a future managerial role in his sights.
“It’s good that kids have a lot of access to sports from an early age, because it gives them something to do and stay active,” he finished.
“Sports brings a lot of people together from different backgrounds; most of my friends have come from football, who I regard as my best friends.
“Tanasheh has joined our coaching staff, he’s a bright young footballer who I’ve drawn close to at Wingate. He’s a massive sports fan and is keen to develop his skills as a coach, so it was only right that he came on board, so we can help him develop.
“What we are trying to do is reach [out to] as many schools, charities and communities as we can. After football I would love to get into the management side of things, it’s something I never thought about until we started Sporting Kids.
“The things I’ve learnt growing up in sports, I [would] love to pass on that knowledge to the children - and younger players coming up - making sure they go down the right path and give them good advice that can help them go further in life.”
For more visit https://www.sportingkids.co.uk/