Meet Peter, aged 51 (below left). Peter is a full time carer living in Neasden, Brent. Peter cares for Michael (23), a regular Community Club member who has autism, a learning disability and bundles of energy!
When asked how do you fit physical activity and sport around your day-to-day duties, Peter exclaimed, “I care for Michael for 9 hours a day, 5 days a week – believe me, that keeps me going! Michael needs to be stimulated to help manage his behavior. He’s very active but I need to be more active. I need to stay ahead of him – he’s very unpredictable. That’s my motivation to stay fit and healthy.”
Due to Michael’s disability, Peter and Michael have very structured plans for the week’s activities with Community Clubs, football, gym and swimming sessions, long walks, and “total housework” keeping them both incredibly active. Peter also attends the gym in his own time acknowledging that getting older and managing his weight both play important roles with regards to his ability to care for Michael.
“Before I started caring for Michael, I weighed a lot more and I was more lethargic. I do my job because I want to care for disabled people but I can’t if I’m unfit. I do my job with my heart, if you don’t its not a job for you!”
Peter is a sports-fanatic, you name a sport, Peter played it. However, Peter is very aware that you do not need to be part of club or hold a membership to be active. “London has so many opportunities, cycling, jogging, walks, outside gyms, free incentives – such a variety in every area of London. Me and Michael take advantage of being able to walk to the local park, have a kick about or walk 3 laps. Being active allows you to see different places too, not just stuck in one area, it really opens your mind.”
Since bringing Michael to our Community Club sessions, Peter has also started volunteering at our Club Sutton, particularly using his expertise to help support Abu, a younger boy with autism. “Clubs are important too, the social side. You join a club and you become a family. You meet people you do not talk to in the street, it breaks down barriers and brings everyone together.”
Alongside caring for Michael, Peter see’s disability sports coaching as his future and is set to attend an FA Level 1 in Coaching Football course early 2018. ”I would love to coach. I would love to be more involved in coaching. That would be a dream, a dream come true.”
Peter lives his life supporting others, now we’re keen to support Peter fulfill his dream.