The Kent Exiles are proud to announce this year’s four Jack Petchey Achievement Award winners:
Rakeeb Giwa (Adult Team)
Lloyd Banks (U19 Contact)
Amelie (U14 Flag Team)
Benjamin (U11 Flag Team)
The Jack Petchey Achievement Award recognises outstanding young people who have gone above and beyond to achieve – perhaps when others thought they might fail. The Awards are primarily about recognising those who put in the effort and do their best. They may be used to recognise a personal triumph for someone who has faced a challenge, a young person who has pushed themselves outside of their comfort zone or it may be an opportunity to recognise the outstanding efforts of a team player.
The Award winners receive £300 of funding for the team and can choose what their grant will be spent on to benefit the club. Read the award winners nominations below:
From his previous years with the club at U19s, Rakeeb was always a consistent staple of every training session. He remains a hugely coachable and enthusiastic player who is always willing to learn more and impart knowledge to others wherever he can. In the latter part of his final season with the U19s where he was unable to play in his usual position of starting running back due to injury, he still however offered his servies as water boy, never failing to find a way to support and encourage his teammates. A player with great potential both in and out of the sport, Rakeeb is continuing his football journey with the Exiles Adult team where he is already making an impact and displaying his hardworking, positive attitude.
Exiles Football has helped Lloyd with the discipline and motivation to lose bucket loads of excess fat in the past few months, whist simultaneously developing his mind and body strength, he has become a fiiter, healthier, more confident version of himself in 2023. He is now competing in Football and Rugby tournaments, able to sustain full game play and involvement thanks to his newfound abilities and health.
Amelie has been playing flag for just over three years. Over that time she has developed her confidence, self esteem, coordination and fitness levels. She is an inspiring female baller and supports others around her to be the best they can be. Playing flag is two fold for Amelie – she loves playing on the defensive side of the ball and has always taken on board all of the coaching she has received, loves training and practising skills and fundamentals. Coach Gary (current defensive coordinator) and prior to Gary, Coach Neil have been big influences on Amelie and they have both supported Amelie both with her confidence and her playing ability and love of the game. Equally as important to Amelie is the social side of playing flag! She has built some great friendships and is a good friend to many on the team. Amelie runs the U14 player communication group on social media and ensures that everyone feels involved and listened to. Lastly, she is always keen to help – set up at the beginning of training or clearing away – she never moans! Well done Amelie – it will be great to see you on the Women’s Contact Team in a couple of years time!
Benjamin has had a difficult few years. Not only was the covid period difficult for Benjamin (as I know it was for many) Benjamin also had struggled returning to school after the lockdowns. Sadly, Benjamin was removed from his previous school due to ongoing bullying which left him being home-schooled for over 10 months. Although Benjamin took this in his stride, he really struggled through this time and was a shell of his former self. The following September, he started a new school. This was very difficult for Benjamin as he had really become a very subdued, anxious and quiet boy. He rose to the challenge and enjoyed school. He then went on to secondary school and despite having some difficulties settling initially, he is now thriving. Benjamin made the decision that he really wanted to join an after school activity to continue in boosting his confidence and to try and make some friends. He chose to join the Kent Exiles flag team. His uncle and grandfather had played for the Kent Exiles many years ago and he wanted to follow in their footsteps. He is really enjoying the team and loves training every Saturday. He also trains outside of Saturday training as often as he can and loves getting either his dad or siblings to try and run through plays with him. He really strives to be the best he can be and doesn’t let anything keep him down. He has really come on in his confidence and is trying everyday. Training is really important to Benjamin and he is constantly watching videos or running through plays to try and get better. He is absolutely loving playing and week by week we are seeing his confidence grow. We hope this continues for a very long time.