As an Editorial Photographer in Wigan and Manchester I was commissioned by one of my regular clients the Daily Mail to photograph Scott Burns the physical disability coach of Wigan Warriors.
It is a mantra promoted by their head coach Scott Burns, whose pioneering work with the club was recognised with the Changing Lives Award at the UK Coaching Awards this month.
Burns, 43, knows exactly how it feels to face not playing again, having been forced out of grassroots participation seven years ago when he lost the sight in his right eye overnight due to a neurological trauma. That episode only strengthened his desire to help others fulfil their sporting goals.
‘One day it just went and I had to step back, stop doing quite a lot of things and adjust my life to living with monocular vision,’ says the father of four.
‘But once rugby league is in your blood it’s really hard to get away from and I knew I wanted to get back somehow, whether it be playing or coaching, so when I saw Warrington Wolves had set up England’s first physical disability team, I inquired if my hometown club were doing the same.’
Burns is still having tests as medical experts attempt to get to the bottom of his loss of vision and whether ‘it will come back, or worst-case scenario, the other eye decides to do the same’.
‘It helps me to understand my players. Those that have visual impairments and some with learning disabilities don’t necessarily know when their last session will be. At some point some of them need to stop. And so my challenge is to make sure they get the most out of playing while they can. It’s motivating and terrifying at the same time,’ he continues.
However, factoring in the importance of regular routine for those with autism, Burns and his team have maintained Zoom contact on Friday evenings, the night on which they would usually train.
Chat to Burns and his enthusiasm for helping others overflows. In anticipation of Wigan launching a wheelchair team in 2021, he has spent hours practising in a chair himself to get a feel for the game — how to stop, how to turn, how to pass. ‘As a coach, I would never ask anybody to do anything that I have not done myself,’ he says.
When it comes to ex-servicemen with missing limbs or Ben Seward, the teenage captain with a congenital condition that meant he was born without a right arm, he studies the mechanics of their disabilities and copies them — such as shoving one hand up his T-shirt sleeve or behind his back — to get his own feel for it so group sessions can be tailored ‘invisibly’ for individual needs.
For Seward, who is training to be a physical trainer specialising in those with disabilities at Wigan’s education academy, it is a particularly exciting time. He is one of those vying for a place in England’s nine-man team at next autumn’s first physical disability World Cup.
‘It’s a dream for me to see these kind of stories unfold,’ Burns says. ‘I love this job so much, I would sleep here if I could — just don’t tell the missus.’
For nearly three decades Paul has been producing car photography in Chorley, Preston, Manchester, Lancaster and all major cities across the North West with crystal clear and brilliantly-composed shots for newspapers, magazines, private and corporate clients.
His keen eye and passion for getting just the right image is what keeps his customers coming back time and again.
With experience across a vast range of styles and subjects, Paul is just as comfortable working with world-famous Premiership footballers and Olympic gold medalists as he is with local company directors and wedding guests on the big day.
- Family, wedding, pets etc
- Back Page Images
- Press Association
- Daily Mail
- The Sun
- Public Relations agencies around the Country
Paul covers most of the North West including Preston, Blackpool, Manchester, Liverpool, Bolton, Lancaster and Chorley in a variety of projects, specialising in Public Relations (PR photography) corporate and sports events and I can be contacted on 07796 146931 or using the email form below.
Editorial Photographer Wigan and Manchester
Paul pays close attention to the finer details in all his photography and prides himself on how he looks after his customers for a truly personal photographic experience.
Every photoshoot is a new and exciting project and the utmost of care and creativity is ingrained in Paul’s work.
There are many aspects to consider for a good photo-shoot, but ensuring you get the right shots for your chosen output such as print, web, large format or something else, it isn’t just about the day of the shoot. With every client, Paul invests time into pre-shoot planning and preparation, and extensive editing and formatting once the shoot is done.