Inspiring and empowering talented children
to achieve their sporting potential.
Registered Charity Number: 1141685
Jack O’Donnell was an elite sportsman who was fortunate enough to find a sport he loved, and to receive the support he needed – both financial and practical – to enable him to achieve his potential.
Tragically, in the summer of 2010, just as Jack was looking forward to his 16th birthday, he suffered a fatal accident. Despite medical efforts Jack passed away on the 27th of July.
The Jack O’Donnell Foundation’s primary aim is to give other children the inspiration and support that Jack received, so that they too can achieve their potential in the sport they love. It is also our aim to fund life changing/saving medical treatment to young people who are in great need, just as Jack was.
‘Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot;
but make it hot by striking’
Jack O’Donnell was a young man who loved to play and support many sports. He loved football, especially his beloved Manchester United, and also had massive admiration for the cyclist Lance Armstrong. Albeit talented in many sports, Jack’s gift was for Ice Hockey for which he had a driving passion.
He played his first game out on the rink when he was just 8 years old, and his too-brief career grew from strength to strength. After a couple of seasons at Oxford City Stars, he moved to the Swindon Wildcats. His commitment was as strong as his talent, and with great facilities and coaching, Jack flourished.
Jack represented the South West of England and also went on to play for England. He trained and played as much as possible visiting many counties and countries along the way. Jack’s skills as a player and a leader were rewarded with the great honour of becoming captain of his country at junior level. Jack decided to become a professional ice hockey player and left school after his GCSEs in the summer of 2010. He was due to start his apprenticeship with the Swindon Wildcats senior team after the summer holidays.
This poem below was a favourite of Jack’s.
He had it in a frame above his bed and it encompasses his sporting character and everything he felt about competing.
I am a player
I love to play
I want to win
It matters to me if I win or lose
It matters to me how I play the game
I want to win without injustice or bad luck or regret
I want to own every pleasure and disappointment
I want to get lost in play
I want time not to matter
I want to do something more important than me
I cannot win alone
I need my teammates and my opponents to make me better
I trust, because I have to trust
I forgive, because I need to be forgiven
I play a game, not only a game
I try because that matters to me
I try because it’s more fun that way
I don’t quit because it doesn’t feel good when I do
I play with others, but I play against me
I learn when I play
I play when I learn
I practice because I like to be good
I try what I’ve never tried before
I fail, to fail smarter
I want to be better than I was yesterday
I feel hard and deep
I hope, because there’s always a way.
Ken Dryden, July 21, 2003