Putting the Fun Back into Sport for Children

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This year, BBC Radio Stoke are celebrating their 50th birthday and are using as an opportunity to Make A Difference.

No better way is this being reflected than by the help that BBC Radio Stoke are giving to Russ Powell to make a difference in sport. Russ is a football coach who, at the age of 37, is dying of cancer. He's trying to use the time he has left to change attitudes around children and sport.

In an open letter, Russ stated: "I've seen first-hand children lose their love of the game because parents and coaches alike have sucked the enjoyment out of the game. Why as managers do we allow this to happen? We have a duty to make sure our players look forward to games with the same excitement week in week out. We as managers need to look forward to these games as much as the players.

"We need to make sure that enjoyment is the main priority for everybody. The enlightening thing about being told you're dying is you get to choose how to live your remaining days. For me I plan to spend as much time having fun as I can and making sure that the players around me have as much fun as they can. I simply refuse to make a player feel bad because they've missed as penalty, misplaced a pass or lacks natural ability in their game.

"Now you may read this and dismiss it that's your choice. The one thing to think about is, you never know when your last team talk will be or the last time you see your child play football. I know that time for me is soon and I want to make it an incredible experience."

Working with Russ, BBC Radio Stoke have complied Russ' Rules which are designed to remind us all that sport, especially for children, should be fun.

Antoinette Sandbach MP stated:

"I am immensely touched by the inspiring work that Russ is undertaking. I would strongly encourage as many sports clubs as possible of all kinds sign up to the scheme. "This has the potential to change the experience children have with sport and will really Make A Difference."

BBC Radio Stoke will be using the coming weeks and months to try and get as many sports clubs as possible to sign up as possible to the scheme. The scheme is applicable to all sports clubs.

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