A Sports Leader Impossible to Ignore

Not too many people get to work with both Arsenal and Chelsea football clubs. Despite being told he’d never be a coach due to his disability, that’s exactly what Abdul Hameed now does.

And not just with Arsenal and Chelsea..

Players in organisations as diverse as Sussex County Cricket Club, GLL/Better and the Royal Society of Blind Children now benefit from Abdul’s talent, professionalism and all round charisma. And Abdul is ‘training the trainer’ too – helping people with mixed abilities and disabilities to run their own sessions.

Many people would be demoralised by being endlessly side-lined and written off as a result of their learning disability and visual impairment.  Not Abdul.

Inspired by his own challenges trying to access sport, Abdul now works tirelessly to create inclusive sports opportunities and has developed his own mixed ability sports programmes which he is pitching to local authorities and sports clubs.

Abdul brings far, far more than his disability to sports coaching. He’s a trained referee. Sports leader. Coach. First aider. Facilitator. With all those tickets to his name, Abdul has become impossible to ignore.

Positive Stepping Stones

Through his coaching, Abdul is increasingly able to influence people in senior roles – those who can promote positive change within their own councils, clubs or corporations. He’s backed up this advocacy with a slot on Surrey Hills Radio and a lobbying role with Mencap, where he has focused on representation of people with learning disabilities in the Paralympics. We hope that influence will now mushroom through his new position on the Learning Disability Leaders List.

But it’s on the football pitch where his passion really shines – and don’t take our word for it:

“You are a really special, positive, caring person who brings out the best talent in people, giving them the belief…” Disability Officer at Arsenal FC

“With the Blindfolded Football session you ran, you have [given] the kids a greater understanding and awareness of what it feels like to be blind or partially sighted…” Sports Officer at Chelsea FC

Supporting Abdul

Every leader needs someone to provide support and encouragement in the background. In Abdul’s case, that is provided by Unity Works, a readiness to work programme run by Thera Trust.

Abdul told us, “First and foremost I want to thank my mum and family… I love being able to advocate for people with mixed abilities… I have never said ‘No.’” Well Abdul, you’ve massively deserved your place on the Dimensions 2021 Leaders’ List. Congratulations, and keep on changing lives.

Social media

Follow @SportsAktive on Twitter

Watch Abdul’s YouTube channel

Read his blogs

How does it feel to win?