Outside interest: sports coach

Written by: Jez Abbott
Published on: 3 Feb 2016

Andrew HodgsonIn his spare time, Barton Willmore planning director Andrew Hodgson coaches youth sports teams. He is a Football Association level 2 coach and an England and Wales Cricket Board level 1 coach.

How did you get into coaching?

My father was a football coach and manager, so that rubbed off and me, while cricket is my number-one sport in terms of playing. I also have two children, an 11 and 14 year old, and they both play for clubs I help run in Cambridgeshire: Ramsey Colts Football Club and Ramsey Cricket Club. A lack of adult coaches prompted me to get involved.

What does it involve?

With football we play on Saturday mornings while on Thursday evenings we practise on an astro turf pitch. As a football coach I have to keep up to date with continuing professional development. With cricket, training starts in April, with sessions from 6pm to 9pm on Fridays. I'm involved with under 11s' and under sevens' teams.

Why do you do it?

I've always been a sportsman and I find it fulfilling seeing children progressing as individuals and through the club. At first I coached because too few adults take up the challenge, but I soon found I loved it.

What’s the toughest thing about it?

As a volunteer with a career it's hard finding the time to do the best job when I'm coaching and helping run the clubs. Communicating and trying to get your ideas across to a young audience can also be a challenge, but an enjoyable one.

What’s the most rewarding thing about it?

The rewards have little to do with winning, but seeing children progress, get better and enjoy themselves. Some who start can hardly bat, bowl or field but end up playing for the county.

Are there any similarities between your day job and coaching sport?

Communication is key to both, as is strategic thinking on what you want to achieve. Community involvement is big for both my job and outside interest: selling the club is like selling a planning application. 

Do you have any unusual interests or hobbies that you would like to tell us about? If so, please email planning@haymarket.com