Last night at Wolverhampton Wanderers FC we saw what a difference TFF can make. 64-year-old John 'Wolfie' Jones from TFF #Hednesford was presented with his #PlayerOfTheYear award in front of nearly 30,000 people at Molineux at half-time during #Wolves match vs Norwich City FC. Why was that so special?
Go back three years before TFF and Wolfie, a mad Wolves fan if you hadn't guessed it, was in a bad place. His doctor via a GP Referral System recommended he join the free tennis programme at #Hednesford to boost his wellbeing. He has attended every single TFF session over the last three years and in that time he has grown in confidence to such an extent that last night he waved at a capacity crowd and was interviewed on TV. The crowd responded with huge applause and cheering Wolfie as he high fived his namesake, Wolfie the Wolves mascot, on the pitch.
For a moment please forget during the Winter Olympics about creating world champions, elite sportsmen et al and the physical and mental benefits of sport and the free TFF programme. John is someone who has seen his life change in much part by TFF according to his friend Lynne Evans who works at #HednesfordPark and has seen his transformation. She accompanied Wolfie to the stadium last night and like the rest of the TFF team were emotional, humbled and absolutely delighted to see John being presented with a special award at his beloved football club, a place he hasn't been able to afford to go to for over 40 years.
Well done Wolfie. Thank you Wolves for helping us make this day so special for all of us. Thank you to everyone at Cheslyn Hay Tennis for running the programme. Thanks for your support Cannock Chase Life
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• Improved state of mind - meet new friends, socialise and be part of a group
• Boost social skills/confidence - Social workers, family workers and Job Centre staff have steered people to the scheme and seen participants grow in confidence. We have people who were once afraid to go out and now they volunteer at the sessions and autistic youngers who have become more confident and made new friends.
• Increased fitness levels - People of all ages are enjoying better, healthier lifestyles since taking up the sport.
GPs, social workers, Job Centre staff and experts who work with vulnerable children have all directed people to the free sporting scheme and the results have been remarkable.