The benefits of taking an active part in sport are clearer today than they’ve ever been. There is a reason that we encourage kids to take part in sport from when they start school. There is a reason that leisure centres are full of people every night of the week. There is a reason that more people than ever before are taking up health and active lifestyles.

It’s because the positive benefits of bringing sport and exercise into people’s lives are clear for all to see, and I don’t even need to begin to tell you about how passionate scousers are when it comes to taking part in football.

The Health Through Sport programme takes this one step further, giving the opportunity to take part in sport to a group of people who get so much out of it, and who might otherwise not be given that opportunity.

Ronny Goodlass’ project is one I am very proud to support. It gives those who take part the chance to develop teamwork skills and to channel their energies positively. It links them up with other people who’s own experiences they can draw upon. It helps them develop their confidence and skill levels, and to gain qualifications to set and achieve goals. And, at bottom, it provides them with the opportunity to enjoy themselves and to have a laugh.

I want to publicly congratulate Ronny and all of his hardworking team on the success of this fantastic project. I hope that in years to come it continues to go from strength to strength.

Joe Anderson

Mayor of the City of Liverpool

The course was really enjoyable and I have thought about coaching a lot more now because I really understood this course.

I would like to expand on this by going onto the level 2 and then further by getting a job coaching, by helping and teaching people of all ages how to play football with the correct coaching.

Adam Cleary

Former Health Through Sport Student

In 1998 I started to get into gangs and into trouble and committing crimes and started going to prison in 2000 and was in and out of jail until 2011.That was when I met Ronny Goodlass and started to listen to him about how to change my ways and my life. I wanted to sort my life out and become a better person and not waste any more time in life as I have done a bit of prison and I am not proud of myself.

I had family problems and I was in care with social services and my head wasn’t right with anything and I had other things on my mind and I got roped into crime but my pattern started to change when I met Ronny and we discussed various things about me and where I wanted to go with my life. This is when I went on the football coaching course which Ronny was running in partnership with the probation service to gain a football coaching level 1 qualification.

I am proud to say I have passed and am now looking forward to taking the Level 2 in the near future. I have been out of trouble for over 2 years and I now lead a better and healthier lifestyle.I would now like to help people similar to myself and turn their lives around and every one needs a second chance in life as I have with mine and come through the other side.

My next step is voluntary work in the community with football coaching to all ages.

Kurtis Bourke

Former Health Through Sport Student

I am writing this testimonial for a good friend of mine.

Prior to meeting Ronny, I was a high risk offender, subject to MAPPA (Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangement) conditions and not only that; I was a MAPPA 3 offender, which is the highest risk.

I was deemed a serious risk to known adults and this was due to my past. I was a high ranking gang member from Moss Side in Manchester. I am now a reformed character and I go into schools to deliver crime prevention events and try to deter the next generation of youths from going down the road I went down.

I met Ronny when he was running his health program for probation. I played football and trained under Ronny for 8 months and it was great. All in all Greater Manchester Police and Probation are amazed at my transformation from high risk offender to a public speaking ex-gang member.

My transformation wouldn’t have been possible without Ronny’s input. He taught me self-discipline, which I lacked due to my past and not only did he give me this, he was also there to listen and advise me from an independent view.

I now value Ronny as my friend and he is always there on the other end of the phone if I need his advice. I am now a self-employed mentor and crime prevention consultant and work alongside Xcalibre, this is Greater Manchester Police’s gang policing unit.

Thanks Ronny, without your input, this wouldn’t have been possible. Darryl.

Darryl Laycock

Crime Prevention Consultant & Mentor, Probation Service

I really enjoyed the course and I would love to progress and take the Level  2.

As I have bipolar, I have found a lot of enjoyment from this course and I have got my passion back for the game again.

I would now like to be able to pass on my knowledge of football coaching within the community.

James McGuire

Former Health Through Sport Student

I have worked with Ronny for the last 4 years as he has helped change peoples lives with his innovative programme of empowering people through sport.

In places like Croxteth and Norris Green where opportunities are limited we have a duty to raise aspirations to free people to believe that they can achieve their dreams, the dream of becoming a football coach is one that many in our community’s have achieved by working with Ronny.

Education and employment changes peoples lives, by working in partnership with Liverpool City Council Ronny Goodlass has shown his commitment to our great City and I look forward to him delivering on the next stage of his plans and take a team to Holland.

Peter Mitchell

Councillor, Mayoral Lead Parks and Open spaces, Croxteth Ward

Ronny Goodlass (ex-Everton  player and Youth Coach ) has worked alongside Merseyside Probation Trust for over 10 years putting on football coaching courses. The coaching sessions took place in Kirkby and Huyton Leisure Centres. Ronny and Health Through Sport (which is a registered charity) provided high risk offenders residing at approved premises in Merseyside with the opportunity to access sports facilities on a weekly basis.

When the course was running between 12 and 16 residents attended   weekly coaching sessions (on Fridays ) and Health Through Sport ensured all offenders undertook a comprehensive induction to assess their general health and fitness before they started the programme. They also offered advice on personal   health and preventing injury and aimed  to promote a healthy lifestyle, raise self – esteem, provide opportunities for an alternative and constructive lifestyle, endear respect to others  and to promote team  work and self-discipline. All participants would be inducted to the Gym and shown how to use the equipment.

Bleep, speed and fitness tests are all used to measure participants   fitness levels as the course progresses  and Health Through Sport can demonstrate that the fitness of participants greatly improves. A Player of  the  Month award  would be picked by the Coaches and the person chosen would receive a medal and a certificate, and this greatly improved the self-esteem of the person chosen and the resident group.

Each resident has the opportunity of obtaining an Openawards  Football Coaching Level 1 and 2 qualification. During the Coaching sessions core values, such as team work, discipline, communication skills and trust  will help the resident whilst they embark on their journey of rehabilitation and social reintegration.

As part of the residents social integration back into the community Ronny would take a group  of residents to a Premier League match and introduced a game between staff from Southwood AP and residents once a month at the DW Stadium in Wigan to play for the Ronny  Goodlass Trophy. These games improved the relationship between staff and residents.

Health Through Sport motivates the residents to improve their lifestyles, raises self-esteem and encourages team work. It was an integral and valuable addition to the Southwood Approved Premises programme by providing the resident group with the opportunity  to gain a recognised  national qualification, and asking only for enthusiasm and respect in return.

Health Through Sport work with residents who are assessed as high or very high risk of harm to the public including gang members, domestic violence, lifers, who have committed very serious crimes and also residents with mental health issues.

All new residents who attended  the course complete a  Health Through Sport  questionnaire  and when they leave the Approved Premises.

20 of the residents gained their Football Coaching Level 1 and over 50 of them were inducted to the Lifestyles Gym, which gives them access to Lifestyles Gyms throughout Liverpool.

John Dunleavy

Probation Residential Officer, Southwood Approved Premises

It’s John Hutch here from the Shewsy youth club and Friends of Everton Park.  I attended the dinner in Nov 2013 when you shocked the living daylights out of me and presented me with the Alan Ball award.

“ As I say , it was a total shock to get the award. I was so completely taken in by the tricky vicar Henry Corbett that I didn’t even know it was an awards evening, and to follow that up, you, the original tricky winger! were shaking my hand along with Mayor Joe Anderson. All in all it was a very great surprise and  a very proud moment for me.

Your work with the charity picks out disadvantaged young people as one of the priorities and the award that evening was a lovely affirmation of the importance of the Shewsy’s youth work over many years in Everton. I’ve had the privilege of working there but so many great people have served in the club and been on hand to befriend , coach and guide youngsters over so many years, the award is shared with them and the youth workers across the City.

So I do congratulate you Ronny  and I agree with you “Health through sport…be healthy, stay healthy, enjoy and achieve” It’s all such a good and sound message and the projects the charity has delivered have surely made a real good contribution to the city’s health and  so many young lives. Congratulations  Ronny and “Health Through Sport”  on 12 years  and all the very best for the next 12 years and more!

John Hutchison

Chair, Shrewsbury House