Dream Big Sports is a not for profit organisation working across Greater Manchester to provide sport and educational opportunities for disadvantaged or deprived young people in order to help them achieve their dreams through three key areas Education Provision, Holiday Camps and Sports Academies.
Founded by local lads Dillan O'Connor and Dale Harris following a successful trial year in the 2015/16 academic year. Dream Big Sports has already this academic year engaged with over 2500 disadvantaged or deprived young people.
From childhood, Dale has always had a desire to play rugby league at an elite level. Dale had great potential to play professional rugby, however, found himself having to overcome numerous obstacles that faced him including living in a deprived area to a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome a form of Autism at the age of twelve. Following on from a horrific sporting accident Dales’ playing career was ended before it had really started and he then found himself wanting to give other young people the chance to succeed where he missed out.
Similarly, Dillan was a keen sportsman growing up and has always been passionate about succeeding in such an environment. Dillan saw his initial aspirations of becoming a professional footballer cut short by Blackpool FC at the age of 18 after coming up through the youth system at Oldham Athletic. Since then, his desire to work in the sports industry led him to coach and educate young people, in hope that he could pass on his own knowledge and experience given to him by great coaches in previous professional settings so that every individual he worked with could be motivated to achieve great things in their future.
At the age of 22, both Dillan and Dale believe they have reached a point in their careers where they are both able to explore their own philosophy within the community and take ownership of the services that they will be providing.
They both have extensive experience and with the combined expertise they are confident their partnership will fruition into a successful organisation with social impact at the heart of it.
“I have grown up playing sport whether that be lucky enough to play for an actual team or just playing on the estate I lived on with mates. So, to be working in and around the sporting industry is something I have always wanted to do, however, I never thought I would be a founder/director of a sport and education organisation. I am learning every day how powerful sport and education can be, watching some of Greater Manchester’s most in need children come alive when a ball is kicked or thrown is something that will be my motivation. Sport is that powerful, it can break down barriers, it can create opportunities and used correctly it can help people achieve their dreams. As an organisation, we are only just starting and I encourage anyone out there to follow our journey.”
— Dale Harris, Dream Big Sports
#TeamDreamBig recently found their new home in Space Campus Oldham and have since made new friends, business relationships, gained new skills and have been motivated by the drive and aspiration that surrounds them. The team at Dream Big Sports encourages any new start-up business or young entrepreneurs who wish to take their next steps in business to consider working from a coworking environment as it's refreshing for business!