Daniel Grant, a 22-year old Finance Admin Assistant from Co-op Legal Services, can answer that. He spends two evenings a week explaining it to the young boys he coaches who are dreaming of dribbling their way to become the next Messi or Ronaldo. Here he tells us why our Co-op values apply to the beautiful game.
Numbers were always the norm for Daniel Grant, growing up with an accountant Dad. So when the opportunity to crunch them came up in our Legal Services’ Probate team, he jumped at the six-month contract on offer. More than a year later he’s still sending out payments to beneficiaries and delicately dealing with the finances of lost loved ones.
“I was always interested in what my Dad did and looked up to him. It was always in me to do it and then this opportunity with the Co-op came up so I thought, why not?”
“I knew a lot about the Co-op already because of my grandparents. My Grandad was a labour voter so he was happy when I got the job,” laughs Daniel.
For someone who readily admits he’s never been comfortable in the confines of a classroom/office, how’s he finding the Bristol banter in Legal Services?
“It’s one of the best atmospheres I’ve worked in,” he says. “You can ask someone a question and you won’t be shut down. There’s a definite ethic here of people willing to support each other as all good Co-ops should do.”
The other place where you should find people willing to support each other is, according to Daniel, on a football field.
He was a mini Messi himself at four years old, constantly with a ball at his feet. That passion eventually drew him into supporting tangerine troopers Blackpool, despite being from Burnham on Sea. “We used to go there for holidays and the colour of the kit just drew me in!” he laughs. But things have moved on since then and he’s shifted his allegiance to Bristol Rovers.
Now he devotes his free time to volunteering at Forest Green Rovers under 13s and local football club Burnbridge Juniors where he’s coach to the under 13s and also helps out with the under 9s and under 15s.
“It’s brilliant really,” he smiles. “I prefer working with the younger age groups as they absorb so much information and you can deliver an efficient session in terms of learning objectives.
“The under 9s are all a bit mad so I love working with them. It’s crazy that it’s one hour out of the whole week and in that hour they just go for it because it’s the only thing they want to do.
“They all have famous footballers names on the back of their shirts and when you call them by that name they love it because that’s who they look up to and who they want to be. It’s fascinating to see their faces just light up.”
Daniel takes his coaching role seriously. His Level 2 coaching is already in the kit bag and he admits that achieving his UEFA badge is “the ultimate”.
But it’s not all about football for this Bristol Rovers fan.
“I love to give something back to society because I think people my age missed out on a lot of development when they were younger.
“Coaching is about teaching kids how to behave respectfully towards other people – how to interact with them. It’s not just about ball skills.”
And Daniel’s right. Two of our Co-op values are dedicated to education, training and concern for the community – this young man is living these and at the same time teaching them to the children in his care.
“If there’s no co-operation, there’s no team,” says Daniel passionately. “The Co-op and coaching are linked because you need everyone on the same side co-operating – everyone’s supporting each other – especially when you’re volunteering – no one is paid to do it.
“It’s literally them turning up and just wanting to be there and not just learning to play football but learning how to interact with people. You look at someone in your team and they’re just another person who you interact with. You don’t think about colour, creed, religion or background – that’s the beauty of football,” he smiles.