Teen recognised for his dedication

Callum Ronald with Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Solly March SUS-171005-141426001
Callum Ronald with Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Solly March SUS-171005-141426001

A young football coach has been recognised for his hard work and dedication at the Brighton & Hove Albion Players’ Awards Dinner.

Callum Ronald, an FA Level One coach for Hastings Athletic Football Club, won the inaugural Albion in the Community Award for his commitment to the charity’s BTEC programme.

The 17-year-old was presented with the award at the American Express Community Stadium by AITC ambassadors Liam Rosenior and David Stockdale, after being picked from a field of 30,000 people and later, a shortlist of 11 people. He received the most votes in an online poll from supporters.

Callum, who lives in Peasmarsh and attended Claverham Community College, travels to and from the stadium every day for lessons and despite it being a four-hour round trip, has not missed a day of college in two years.

Callum’s mother Claire said: “We are incredibly proud of him. We didn’t find out he had won until the night of the awards and it was such a fantastic surprise.

“We were all absolutely buzzing – it took us quite a long time to come down from that.

“It is so nice to see someone recognised for giving 110 per cent commitment. For the past two years, he has had no social life – he has put everything into the course in order to achieve what he has achieved – and for this to be recognised is really incredible. We’re so proud.”

Callum is on target to achieve the highest grade possible on the course – a triple distinction star – and has also volunteered at a range of events with the charity’s fundraising department.

In September, he will be heading to Liverpool John Moores University to study Science and Football.

Sarah McAdam, AITC’s BTEC manager, was full of praise for Callum. She said: “Callum has thrived in our alternative education environment.

“He has worked hard to improve his knowledge, understanding and application in both futsal and 11-a-side football and is now a regular feature in teams across both formats. He is a worthy winner.”

BTEC coach and mentor Danny Cullip added: “His enthusiasm and dedication is unbelievable, it’s second to none. If you could bottle his enthusiasm, his attitude, his dedication, you’d be on to a winner.”

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