Just over a month ago Ash Hawkes and Richie Boxall stepped away from full time secure jobs to set up their own football coaching school called Pathway. Some would call it a risk and others would pat them on the back for having the confidence to trust each other in a new venture.
Both guys I know from Wick FC and Wick & Barnham Utd days at Crabtree Park, both have the drive and determination to make it work and I can see this being a huge success. Anyway, enough of me, here is their story so far and links to where you can find them in the South East:
TK: You and Richie (Boxall) were both working at Pompey (Portsmouth FC), so what prompted the move to Pathway Coaching?
RB: The name idea came from one we had called Stepping Stones. There is a big gap between an Academy player and a grassroots player just starting out so our ‘pathway’ is that; everything in-between. If you are talking about elite football we’re the bit in the middle of that, we can help them get there whatever their age.
What we want to try and do is create a pathway for every player to move up and onwards. The PE lessons we cover in conjunction with school teachers helps kids prepare for tournament football as well and other sports.
It’s all about recognising the individual child and working out what goes best for them, some just want to play for fun and some want something more serious but there’s a pathway for each one, that’s the main idea really to have that for everyone.
TK: How does the new venture sit alongside Mutri-Prep?
AH: It sits nicely alongside. Pathway is Monday-Saturday while Mutri-Prep is only on Sundays. It’s absolutely flat out but that’s the way I like to be. Two things I am very passionate about and they work hand in hand.
For those who don’t know I also run a nutritional meal preparation business called Mutri-Prep which began around two years ago and we cater for all dietary requirements, you can find us on Facebook.
TK: Where is Pathway based and what times do you focus on running?
AH: We are based in West Sussex, predominantly Bognor Regis and use the Arena as our base. We do branch out towards East Wittering and the outskirts and we are looking to expand further as the future takes us.
We also travel to Storrington and Pulborough and offer courses there which takes us that much further out. Timewise, we cover PE lessons at schools, we do afterschool clubs and we do our evening centres. When it comes to half term’s we do full week course and one-to-one coaching as well, full details are on our website which is linked below.
TK: Is it a full time thing for you and Richie? Are the other coaches part time?
AH: Yes Richie and I both own the company and are full time. We currently have four part time staff looking to recruit more in the next few weeks. We’re looking for young, driven enthusiastic coaches with the same philosophy as us and making sure they can deliver a great time for every single child that attends our coaching school. Fun and progression is what we stand for.
TK: What are the future plans and goals for Pathway?
RB: They are basically exactly what it says on the tin, ‘provide a pathway’. We want to build up the girls side of the game too and there are plans to put on sessions for them as time goes on.
We want to build as many relationships as we can with schools and clubs in the local area and provide those pathways as we move forwards and to help as many children as we can in years to come.