Ipswich coach Walker on his £10,000 charity goal and his ‘Football DNA’ project
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Town goalkeeping coach Jimmy Walker is hoping to raise more than £10,000 for two vital charities during the coronavirus crisis.
Walker, who was brought to Portman Road by manager Paul Lambert in November 2018, is looking to use his Football DNA online coaching school to support both NHS Charities Together and the United Nations Foundation.
The school offers a collection of nearly 800 training videos, with the aim of helping those playing and coaching football at all levels, from the Premier League to grassroots, improve their game and learn from some top coaches.
A free 30-day trial, which also includes a skills challenge section aimed at children, has been made available during the lockdown period with the option to subscribe for a discounted £5 a month after that. All of that money, as well as income from existing subscribers, will be donated to the two charities. There is also a JustGiving page for those able to donate.
“This is about doing something positive and something good, trying to help people as much as we possibly could because you feel helpless at times like this,” Walker said. “If this can go to the people who keep us safe then that would be fantastic.
MORE: Earliest date on which football could return revealed“We were thinking ‘what can we do to help?’ and thought about doing a big run or a charity bike ride or something like that... but I’m maybe a bit out of shape for that. So while we’re in lockdown we wanted to do our bit.
“We have some skills challenges on there aimed at the kids, from five up to 12 or 13 and it goes all the way through from beginner levels to some more advanced skills stuff. It’s all the key skills in there to help you learn.
“You can do most of them in your back garden and it could help people keep the children entertained and learn some football skills at the same time.
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“If it encourages those who are in a fortunate enough decision to also donate to two wonderful charities then that would be brilliant. All the profits we’re making will go to the charities as well.
“There have been some heroics all around the country with people doing things for charity and coming together at a really difficult time and that’s inspired us to do a little something too. Anything we can raise would be great.”
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Football DNA was born during Walker’s time with Lincoln, where he worked with Danny and Nicky Cowley as the Imps knocked Town out of the FA Cup in 2017, with the former goalkeeper keen to share as much knowledge as possible.
“I started it when I was at Lincoln alongside the analyst there (Stewart England) and we ended up noting down some of the drills we were doing in training and he animated them all up,” he said. “They looked quite good and I thought – ‘I’ve got thousands of these from my time in football’.
“The thing with football is it has felt more closed to me and people didn’t want to share ideas, help anyone out or let anyone in from the outside. That felt sad because we have so many great ideas inside the game and do everything fantastically well, but nobody wants to share that knowledge.
MORE: Much-criticised North Stand roof at Portman Road to get long-overdue clean“It’s been nice to see who is happy to share their work and are confident enough to do that to help others out.
“We’ve ended up with nearly 800 videos on there from coaching drills, sports science, nutrition and all of the wellness stuff – that’s come into the game massively and there are so many talented people working inside the game on things like that. You can see it with the speed of the players and how well they look after themselves. I’ve learnt a lot from that.
“It all comes from professionals working inside the game, from the Premier League to League Two, but we’ve opened it up to everyone all the way down to the grassroots levels. The people who give up their time to grassroots football are incredible in my opinion, coaching after work and things like that, so if we can help them structure a session or give some tips then that’s brilliant. They can just go on their phone, find a passing drill on there and help teach some young children the game.
“There’s something for everyone on there – we have players in the Premier League subscribing all the way down - and it’s grown really well over the last couple of years.”