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Brentford Penguins FC

2296. Allan Cockram

Allan Cockram, from Brentford, is a former professional footballer who set up ‘Brentford Penguins FC’, for young people with Down’s Syndrome.

Allan wanted to create a club in memory of his friend who passed away from complications relating to Down’s Syndrome, and used his own finances to launch the ‘Brentford Penguins’ in 2017. Starting with five players, the Club has since grown, becoming a registered charity in 2023, and holds weekly training sessions for young people with Down’s syndrome. The Club doesn’t discriminate against age or ability, with players ranging from age 4 to 26,  who want to learn and practise football skills, whilst also improving their balance and coordination. They are supported by ‘Brentford FC’, and are often joined for coaching sessions by professional footballers and recently participated in their first competitive game.

In addition to football, the Club also provides an inclusive and friendly supportive network for families and friends. Allan also works to raise general awareness about Down’s Syndrome through school visits and presentations, and produced the 2023 documentary ‘Mighty Penguins’ which was BAFTA longlisted for Best British Short Film. 

Allan’s award coincides with World Down’s Syndrome Day, a global day to raise awareness of Down’s Syndrome. 

Allan said:

“I am very thankful and much humbled for receiving this remarkable award. It presents a beautiful chance to extend awareness about Down’s Syndrome to a broader audience, an opportunity I deeply cherish.”

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