Alumnus of the Month: January 2022
Charlie Lumsdon is our Verulam School Alumnus of the Month for January 2022. Charlie left Verulam School in 2010 and is now the Director, Owner and Founder of Finishing Touch Sports Ltd, a sports coaching company.
Please tell us a little about yourself – where do you work and how did you get into this role?
My career is within the Sports Education sector.
I am the Director, Owner and Founder of Finishing Touch Sports Ltd, a sports coaching company that offers sports provisions to the local community (schools, grassroots, academy organisations) to develop, coach, and teach a range of sports, supporting physical, social, and mental wellbeing through staying active for the local youth community.
I am also the Head of Sport at Fleetville Junior School, St. Albans in which I co-ordinate and lead Physical Education and extra-curricular sports provisions for Years 3-6.
My passion has always been in sport, and I felt driven from a young age to pursue a personal and professional life of sports focus.
I was always intrigued by teaching and education, however, never believed it would be something I would pursue as a career. The further you follow the sports sector, the more aspects you notice link with ‘education’. It soon became apparent to me the enjoyment and passion you can find in inspiring others to participate, compete, and experience sport as a positive tool for growth.
What are some of your proudest achievements since leaving Verulam School?
It felt somewhat ‘frowned upon’ by some, that turning down a place in the School Sixth Form was the correct thing to do, to pursue my experience and study in sport. However, I had a specific idea of what interested me and taking this independent decision is something I look back at with real pride.
I believe this, my first real ‘adult’ decision led to my proudest achievement, creating and becoming the founder of my very own Sports Business in 2015 at just 21 years old, starting as a sole-trader with just 20 children at a local Primary School Club, to now being a Ltd. Company, working with over 1000 children per week within schools in Hertfordshire and employing over 15 sports staff/coaches.
What advice would you give someone looking to follow a similar career path?
Forgive my David Brent-esque words in advance; my advice is to have belief and determination to get where you want to be, in education, you must have great confidence and passion for what you are teaching/coaching, without this, you would be cheating yourself and those who are entrusting you to educate them.
How have your experiences at Verulam School contributed to your life and successes since leaving school?
Any teacher that recalls my time at Verulam will know I was certainly ‘no angel’, many a moment I spent within the office of Mr. Ramsey etc. for a good telling off/some wise words of advice and despite these possibly being pursued as a negative, many of these moments stick with me so vividly as a contribution to the person I am today.
Verulam gave me the life lessons that things do not always go your way, and you cannot simply just get away with what you want. Balance working hard with leisure time, and you can find yourself enjoying both to the same level.
Sport was competitive, highly competitive, in my time at Verulam and despite backing myself as a strong sportsperson I learned at Verulam that different levels and opportunities exist for different individuals at different times. The likes of Mr. Mawby/Mr. Lewis whom I remember as influential teachers in Sport/PE would find the balance of providing these opportunities and explaining to me as a ‘young adult’ why I was due to miss out on certain occasions. This respect and understanding is something I have taken into my methods of teaching as I have grown within the sector.
What House were you in at Verulam School and can you describe one of your fondest memories?
I was in Jennings. I often have individuals who I have taught or coached who move on from Primary to Secondary Education at Verulam and I still find myself speaking with such pride for ‘my’ house and of the healthy rivalry with PY or BCH!
One of my fondest memories is of my selection within the Year 7 Football Team, Mr. Lewis, my form tutor at the time led the squad, I remember having to play in the heavy ‘reversable rugby kits’ for months on end before we were kindly donated a brand new white and blue Nike strip. I remember so vividly the squad storming into the Sandpit Lane changing rooms to get to their favoured number first ahead of the Saturday morning fixture and emerging onto the field like we were walking out as professionals.
Sustaining and ultimately, developing and growing my business. As mentioned above Finishing Touch Sports started with just myself and a bag of footballs for 20 Year 1 children at Gardenfields JMI and now Finishing Touch Sports Ltd. offers sports provisions to over 1000 children per week within Hertfordshire Primary Schools and offers employment opportunity to young coaches developing their career within the sector. More of the same is the plan and on an even wider scale!
We love hearing what our alumni have been doing since leaving Verulam School. Each month, we are inviting a member of our alumni community to share their story of life after Verulam. If you’re and alumnus who would like to take part, or you’d like to volunteer an alumnus that you know, then please drop us an email.