Martin Richardson is the cream of the crop when it comes to helping others. Martin takes the time out of his life to share himself and his contacts with soccer and the ice hockey community.
And, what I mean by contacts is he introduces himself to sports figures with notoriety and then arranges for soccer and hockey fans to meet them. That is a very small part of how he shares his time. He coaches kids soccer, he is president of a hockey foundation, has been nominated and won an award from Channel 7 called Everyday Hero, and makes a difference to countless lives in ways most people could only imagine.
- You can VOTE HERE to help Martin win the 2014 MLS WORKS Community MVP Contest presented by Wells Fargo.
Martin Richardson coaches the top U12 girls team with the Denver Kickers organization. When he played, he was the leading scorer and was All-Conference for Metro State back in the 1980's.
While most competitive coaches are paid, Martin does not take a salary because Kickers is a volunteer group. During the winter, he and other Kicker coaches also put on a 12-week indoor clinic and do not take payment for that either. He just wants to do his part to help players get better.
But Martin's real contribution to the community comes outside of soccer. He is the president of the Dawg Nation Hockey Foundation, which raises money to help adult players who are either seriously ill, or have been seriously injured while playing.
In four years, the DNHF has raised over $500,000, and has helped almost 30 people with huge medical bills. Again, nobody in that organization is paid - it is entirely voluntary.
You will never be able to have a better candidate for your honor than Martin Richardson. He not only does his part to promote soccer here locally, but has helped make a difference in many lives through his volunteer work.
Martin has demonstrated leadership in the community that has improved countless lives. As the president of his non-profit, Dawg Nation, he raises and distributes money to hockey players with illnesses and serious injuries. And as a soccer coach, he has taught and inspired a group of girls to overcome challenges and work together as a team. It is that experience that I am most familiar.
Martin's enthusiastic personality and engaging communication drew the players together as a team. Even when they played against teams that were in much higher divisions, the players worked extremely hard and supported each other as teammates. Players who made mistakes leading to losses often received phone calls of encouragement from Martin, which lifted their spirits and motivated them to train even harder.
Most youth soccer clubs take the winter season off, while a few play indoor games. It is extremely rare for teams to rent indoor facilities and organize structured training in the winter, which is exactly what Martin did last winter. Not only that, he called all the area colleges and convinced their soccer coaches to voluntarily run practices as guests. This was incredibly inspiring to the kids, and built relationships between the soccer club and the local colleges.
Martin recognizes the strengths of all of the players, and that positive approach resulted in numerous players asking to continue playing on this team. He has nominated two players for community awards, making them feel extremely special and appreciated.