LiveWire is celebrating the achievements of one of its Bewsey and Dallam members, teenager Khovan Hussein, as he is awarded with the Rotary Young Citizen Sporting Hero Award 2022.
Khovan, aged 18, has been a member of LiveWire’s Bewsey and Dallam leisure centre for almost a year. Having overcome a heart condition, autism, ADHD and Tourette’s syndrome, he has worked hard in his mission to motivate other young people to get involved in sport.
He always put others first helping fellow students with medical and mental health issues who required his sensitive understanding to step up to sport to engage them in the wider community. He has helped his peers and teachers to maintain their fitness, despite the impact of COVID-19, including producing fitness videos during lockdown.
Helping others with sport and fitness
Khovan received his award from BBC TV Presenter Ellie Crisell at the Rotary Young Citizen Awards ceremony, which took place at the Volunteer Expo at the NEC in Birmingham earlier this month. He was nominated for the award by Newton-le-Willows Rotary. The awards are celebrating their 15th anniversary this year.
Khovan said: “Because I’m autistic, I had trouble socialising. Sport has helped me and I like helping people through sports because it can make anyone who’s really shy, really outgoing and confident and it’s fun to do as well. So, I wanted to help others with sport and fitness because I felt I used to be a really shy kid and I thought, you know, if it made me more sociable and more outgoing, maybe it could work on others.”
Shireen Hussein, Khovan’s mum, said: “Attending the gym at Bewsey has helped increase his confidence and independent skills as well as social skills, which are all important for his day to day life and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
“I walk Khovan to the hub and wait in the library area with his sister, it gives Khovan the support he needs getting to and from the gym but also offers him those really important independent skills going upstairs and accessing the gym himself. The gym is affordable which means I can pay for Khovan’s pass, and it’s really helping him reach his fitness goals.
“Khovan enjoys the gym most but also swimming. He likes the variety of equipment, that staff are easily available to help and friendly but not over powering – they have a good understanding of his disabilities and how to talk to him so that he can process everything. He also loves that it’s within walking distance. He likes that it’s not overcrowded too.
“He knows most of the staff by face, they always greet him and him to them on entry. Khovan doesn’t always remember people’s names, but he knows them well enough to be comfortable to ask for help, which is a big thing for Khovan to do due to his autism he can find it hard to speak to others.”
Khovan has won medals, including gold, in Brazilian Ji -Jitsu competitions. He attends Lakeside sixth firm college at Wargrave House autism specialist school and college, LEAP 18-25 adult college.
He has completed two college work placements as an MMA coach and gym instructor/personal trainer respectively and he says he would like to work in these roles after completing college.
Khovan said: “I feel really excited about getting the Sporting Hero award. It means a lot and I’m very excited about it all. And I think that for the career I want to go for, it’s definitely going to help and motivate me even more.”
Jake McKie, LiveWire Group General Manager, said: “All of the team at Bewsey and Dallam community hub is delighted that Khovan has been awarded the Rotary sporting hero award and very pleased that accessing the hub this has helped him to achieve this.
“It’s wonderful to see that the Hub is already making such a difference to local residents such as Khovan and his family not only by improving his health and fitness but also in improving his confidence and social skills at the same time. We are already looking forward to hearing about Khovan’s next success story!”