Double Award for Brentford Penguin's Coach

Allan Cockram named Volunteer of the Year after visit to Number 10

Allan (left) with his award outside Number 10 Downing Street. Picture: @BrentfordPFC
Allan (left) with his award outside Number 10 Downing Street. Picture: @BrentfordPFC

March 27, 2024

The coach of the Brentford Penguin’s football team was a busy man last week as he had to pick up two awards.

First off, he had to go to Number 10 Downing Street to collect a ‘Points of Light’ award after being chosen by the Prime Minister. He had been invited to a special reception which was held there to mark World Down Syndrome Day on Thursday 21 March.

Allan said, “I am very thankful and much humbled for receiving this remarkable award. It presents a beautiful chance to extend awareness about Down’s Syndrome to a broader audience, an opportunity I deeply cherish.”

The following evening a gala reception for the London Sports Awards was held at the Guildhall in the City of London at which Allan was named Volunteer of the Year.


A reception was held at Downing Street to mark World Down's Syndrome Day
A reception was held at Downing Street to mark World Down's Syndrome Day. Picture: @BrentfordPFC

Allan, who makes football accessible to children with Down’s Syndrome, has run training sessions every week for over six years for all children from the age of five. He created the Brentford Penguins in memory of his friend who passed away from complications relating to Down’s Syndrome.

It has an open-door policy where no child is ever turned away, providing a safe and friendly environment to socialise, make friends and learn new skills.

The club trains in Gunnersbury Park and Allan has run the weekly training himself as a volunteer. Allan initially self-funded the scheme and it now includes over 50 children and young people. It is supported by Brentford Football Club, the Brentford Community Sports Trust and is affiliated with the Middlesex FA.

Allan Cockram (centre holding scarf) with the Brentford Penguins in Gunnersbury Park

It was the eighth time the London Sports Awards, which aims to recognise the unsung heroes who are improving lives through sport and physical activity, was held. The 2024 edition of the annual awards event celebrated volunteers, organisations, companies, charities and individuals who have gone above and beyond.

Allan after being presented with his Volunteer of the Year
Allan after being presented with his Volunteer of the Year. Picture: BA Hons Photography students/Ravensbourne University, London

A record-breaking 415 nominations were received with the shortlist chosen by a panel of expert judges including representatives from Sport England, London Youth Games, London Marathon Events, Decathlon, Deloitte, the City of London Corporation, and past London Sport Awards winners.

Other winners on the night included The Featherstone School Sports Partnership which bagged the Supporting Young Londoners Award, in association with Play Innovation.

The initiative strives to address the gaps in opportunities amongst young Londoners and has developed a comprehensive 'levelling up' programme which aims to ensure all disadvantaged children within its communities have equal access to sport and physical activities. It organises events for disadvantaged children, as well as providing breakfast and up to 60 hot healthy meals a day.

Emily Robinson, Chief Executive of London Sport, said, “The London Sport Awards are always an incredible recognition of the efforts and achievements for those helping Londoners lead healthier more active lives.

“I would like to congratulate all the nominees on their fantastic achievements in making sport and physical activity more accessible and inclusive to all. A special congratulations to our inspirational winners – our winners and finalists should be immensely proud of the work they have done and the contribution they’re making in improving lives.”

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