It’s a journey that started with a bang! After a broken collarbone forced him to change career path, Adrian has spent the last 20 years forging a sporting legacy up in Finsbury Park. It’s a legacy built on teamwork and community both on and off the field, and his story is not about what he has achieved for himself, but about what he has done for others. This is what defines him as a generous and a selfless gentleman.
A long way from his native Australia, Adrian (otherwise known also as Coach K) is in his 20th year coaching the London Blitz American Football Club. He first joined as a coach of the adult squad, there being no youth program at the time, and after just one season was promoted to Head Coach at the age of just 23. He has since been instrumental in building the club into the national powerhouse it is today, taking the team to their first National Championship win in 2007.
Adrian then moved to the U19s program, where he continued to make waves, taking the team from winning just a handful of games a year, to a team that has now won five of the last seven National Championships.
Adrian has had an unparalleled impact on the London Blitz, and on the British American Football community, and the achievements of the London Blitz U19s are a testament to his hard work and dedication. However, while most might might stop for a breather at that point, Coach K was just getting started, and every season he has continued to add to his dynasty.
Off the field, Adrian’s work in the wider community centres around the Dynamic Sports Academy (DSA). Adrian founded the DSA in 2007 as a way to engage predominantly young people through multi-sport training. The goal is to get young people to make more positive and productive life choices, and to give focus to their lives. Demonstrating their success, 97% of DSA members go onto further/higher education, compared to a local average of just 35%. The DSA’s Total Athlete Development Program includes speed, strength, performance vision, sport psychology, and workshops on a range of topics including nutrition, sleep & injury prevention.
Furthermore, Adrian is helping young athletes in the community to reach new heights by helping them to secure places at US High Schools and Universities (ranging from Junior College to NCAA Division 1). He is helping others by giving them the tools to realize their dreams.
In addition to his roles at the London Blitz and Dynamic Sports Academy, he is also a trustee for the Finsbury Park Sports Partnership charity, of which he is a founding member. When Finsbury Park Stadium was due to be closed due to council cutbacks, Adrian and others from local clubs formed a charity and took a 35-year lease on the facility. This has allowed the facility to not only stay open for the local community, but they have also managed to raise over £1 million in funding, enabling them to renovate the gym, as well as having a new track and field installed.
Adrian’s incredible achievements were recognised on Thursday March 8th, where at Wembley Stadium he was selected from over 300 nominations to be awarded the Volunteer of the Year Award.
Adrian has high hopes and optimism for the future, stating that he hopes “receiving this award will bring the organisations I work with into the spotlight for the incredible work they do, and lead to further funding and connections with others who can help them achieve their goals”. However, Adrian is still not done, and he’s looking for “more funding, more volunteers and more connections” to grow these organisations to help “as many people as possible and have a positive impact on their lives”.
Adrian’s passion for the game of American Football and his hard work for the wider community exemplify his legacy. Anyone can see that he is a generous kind-hearted gentleman. He strives for the success of others, builds talent and helps others accomplish their dreams. He does all this with such humility, always praising the support he receives from his team at the London Blitz, Dynamic Sports Academy, Finsbury Park Sports Partnership, and most importantly from his wife, who takes the lead on raising their 3 children aged 2, 3 and 5.
Through all of the personal, professional and political hurdles that Adrian has has overcome to build his legacy, he has never backed down, choosing every time to face them head on. Has has cemented his place in the club’s history, earning the love and respect of the entire organisation - we will be forever grateful.