- Return to articles / Oct 13, 2016 -
It all started in the summer of 2010 when Rene sat down with Otis Roberts (CEO of the Foundation) for a meal at Chiquitos. And whilst both shared a great passion for all things football, it was the backdrop of the Mexican food and music that both men established another greater desire, young people and sports.
Fast forward to 2016, five years later, having seen and heard everything, Rene is now head of the newly formed Jason Roberts Academy, overseeing an average of 60 young people each week.
Rene Steer’s story;
‘My name is Rene Alexander Steer and I am a 26 years old young man who lives, breathes and eats football. I currently play professional football for Maidenhead United and oversee the Foundation’s Academy project with young people in the Borough (Brent).
One thing that many people don’t know about me is that my football career started with one of the greatest football club in the world; Arsenal, where I spent four years learning everything about the beautiful game. As a young boy travelling from Brent to North London, everyday felt like a dream training and learning with some of the biggest names in the Premier League at the time.
Otis Roberts, the CEO of the JRF, who I knew off used to come around and watch me train at Arsenal and because we are from the same area we would often meet up and talk about football.
One day, we went out for a meal and he started talking to me about the work he does in the community with young people and sports and I really admired the work he was doing with the Foundation.
I told him about that my belief and passion for youth football coaching is what got me into Arsenal and I would like to one day be able to engage and inspire a young person to also achieve their dream. On the back of this he invited me down to the Pavilion Centre to come and play football to meet some of the young people and check out the scenery, and the rest they say is history.
I have been a coach at almost every half term and summer programmes the Foundation does. The thing is that it has been a long learning journey for me and whilst I am still learning, I feel I am in a better place now.
The Foundation has helped me to get the right training and qualifications to help and nurture the work I do.
When I started I only had Level 1 in Football Coaching, and now with the support from the Foundation I have achieved the following:
Over the five years, my confidence has risen, my desire to do more has increased and my relationship with young people in the community has grown massively. As the main leader for our new football project, I have the responsibility for carrying out outreach work, engaging and developing up to 60 young people using the power of sports.
In the next five years, I hope the Foundation would still be in a position to allow me to carry on with the work I am doing with the young people and develop it further. I have just completed my new coaches’ development plan, and the main goals are for me to complete three more training courses and carry out a community-based project with the aim of it becoming an annual event.
I would also like to do my qualification in mentoring and use that to engage those individuals who may not necessarily be sports orientated.
My advice to young people is to believe in yourself and when someone tells you can’t, don’t believe it and carry on going and believe in your dream all the way.