Sean Bailey is being given a prestigious Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland’s Community Champion award for his work in creating the Cerebral Palsy Football Club in the North West of England.

Sean, now aged 34, suffered serious neck and spinal injuries at the age of 22 playing football for his local club and thought he would never walk again. His determination to defy the odds saw him regain his ability to walk although he will not run or play football again. He decided to put his incredible energy and his love for the game to great use and created the Cerebral Palsy Football Club for anyone with the condition or brain injury.

Through hard work, structured mentoring and high quality coaching the club were able to compete internationally for the first time in 2017, beating international teams en-route to winning the FECPC International trophy something which Rotary supported.

Rotary clubs in the area sponsor the teams and are delighted to be part of such a great charity.

There are teams for 3 to 11 year olds, 12 to 16 years olds and 16 and over. There is even a Futures programme to mentor the older children who wish to be involved with football in a non-playing capacity where they learn leadership skills and increase their confidence.

The philosophy of the charity is that sport is a great healer. Many players arrive with walking aids but with perseverance and support many have regained their ability to walk again. The charity has links with premiership teams including Manchester City and there is a link with Warrington Rugby League Club which is forming a disability league team.

Warrington Rotary noticed Sean’s outstanding efforts and nominated him for the Rotary Community Champion Award.

Sean will receive his Community Champion award, alongside other community heroes from across the country, at a ceremony hosted by the Lord Mayor of Cardiff in Cardiff City Hall in May in this year. The Cardiff location is significant as 2018 marks 100 years of Rotary in Wales.

The search for Rotary Community Champions was carried out across Great Britain and Ireland with Rotary clubs looking for members of the public who have worked tirelessly to improve the lives of others.

Denis Spiller, President of Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland, commented: “The selfless actions of our champions really demonstrates that every person, everywhere can make a difference. Sean is one of those people who really does go that extra mile. His commitment to the charity is truly inspirational. He is a very worthy recipient of the Rotary Community Champion award.”


© Rotary News