To celebrate our 10th birthday year we’ll be highlighting some key moments and individuals from the last ten years. This month, we’re delighted to introduce you to DMSF Coach, Denis Moran.

How did you get involved in DMSF?

My involvement in DMSF came about when I joined St Cuthbert’s Primary School as a PE Lead across Key Stage One and Key Stage Two in September 2015. DMSF were also working in the school during this period and I could see the fantastic impact that they were having. I built up really strong friendships with Diane, Bex and Clive during this time and worked closely with them too.

When I eventually left St Cuthbert’s I still kept in contact with the DMSF team and continued to meet with Diane and Bex to discuss projects that I was working on and how I felt DMSF could possibly become involved and add their great experience to this.

Why did you decide to join DMSF?

Having seen the great work the DMSF team did at St Cuthbert’s and the passion they had for improving the lifestyles and aspirations of many young people and their families, it was impossible to say ‘No’ when Diane asked if I would like to join the team in a consultancy capacity.

To be involved in numerous projects that were so exciting and instilling such wonderful core values that encourage young people to achieve their potential made my decision a very easy one. I have been a primary school teacher for twenty years now and prior to that I worked in Sports Development. My current role at DMSF allows me to bring all those skills of many years together and add my expertise to the amazing team that already exists. 

How many times a week did you run sessions for DMSF?

My role at DMSF is to lead on the education programme and community sports partnership work. I do not run specific sessions at this moment, but work closely with schools and within the community building upon the current projects we have, developing new openings and working closely with partners throughout our local community where we feel DMSF can grow even further through these relationships.

What were you doing before you joined DMSF?

At the moment my week is split in to two! On a Monday through to a Wednesday I work full time in a primary school as a teacher. This is something I have done for many years and continue to do so. On a Thursday and Friday my time is devoted to DMSF! I am very privileged to be working in two very different settings in the week, but still aiming to achieve the same goals, which is helping young people to be the best that they can be and giving them the courage and self-belief to achieve their dreams and aspirations in life.

Where does your passion for sport come from?

In my younger years, which seems a while ago now, I was an aspiring footballer. I had trials for local clubs within the city, was scouted by both Manchester United and Manchester City and played for Stockport County for a period of time. However, my love of sport all started at primary school with wonderful teachers that encouraged me to take part in many sports. Playing sports is great but being part of a team and the comradery, and the friendships you build are wonderful. Sport, for me, gave me great lessons and values that I would take into many areas of my life as I grew up and continue to do so.

What does DMSF mean to you? 

DMSF to me means many things. Helping young people to be the people they want to be and aspire to be. Bringing opportunity to many young people and families within our city who simply would not have them otherwise for many reasons. DMSF means fun and being part of a truly fantastic team, where we feel truly valued and appreciated for what we do. DMSF is about dreaming big!

Your role involves motivating our young people to become and stay involved in sport. How would you enthuse and motivate young people in your coaching sessions?

To motivate, inspire and enthuse people you have to set challenges, targets, goals and instil a drive into people that makes they want to achieve this. Passion, enthusiasm and determination are all values that every coach and teacher should have and display. Setting realistic goals, working in partnership and allowing young people to take control of their own learning journeys are all ways in which you can motivate young people to stay involved in sport. Most pupils and young people involved in sport do not care what you know until they know that you care. Positive relationships with everyone you work with is fundamental to all of the above.

If you identified a talented performer in your sessions, what would you do to help them progress?

Once you have identified a talented performer the next step is identifying the pathway for them to gain even greater opportunities to fulfil their potential. This could be through working with local sporting governing bodies and centres of excellence too.  The key is ensuring that the talent you have spotted is given every opportunity to grow further.

Do the DMSF values (creating opportunities, acting with integrity, instilling resilience) make a difference in your life?

Absolutely! When you look at the DMSF values they are a code for how we can all live our lives and give us clear examples of how we can treat one another. I think if everyone was to follow these values our world would be a much better place at times! My wife and I have two children, both at secondary school and both involved in sports. We constantly talk to them about such values and how they should be applying them to all they do.

What are your ambitions/vision for the future?

So many things! Above all to be still working for DMSF for many years to come! If that is the case, this will mean that all the goals and objectives we continue to set and want to achieve for our young people and families are being met and I don’t think it gets any better than that! That is my ambition and vision for the future.

Denis, you’re an inspiration to us all and we’re so proud to have you on the DMSF team.