Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Club News

RUNNING TOWARDS ADVERSITY

3 August 2022

Club honoured with hero's visit

Every member of staff at Ipswich Town’s Portman Road Stadium and Playford Road Training Ground received an inspirational talk from Jason Schechterle, a former police officer turned public speaker, last week.

Jason, who is a member of and represents the PSPRS Trust (the Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System), the ultimate majority shareholder of the club, spoke to Portman Road office staff on Wednesday morning, before then speaking to coaching staff and first-team players at the stadium that afternoon.

On Thursday morning he spoke to Academy staff and Women's team players and staff.

In March 2001, at the age of 28, Jason's life changed forever. Having served for four years in the Air Force, Jason had achieved his goal to work on the streets of Phoenix as a police officer. Just 14 months into what was supposed to be a life-long career, though, his life took a tragic turn.

Jason was on his way to an emergency call when a taxi, traveling at over 100mph, crashed into the rear of his patrol car.

Upon impact, Jason’s vehicle burst into flames, trapping him inside for more than 90 seconds.

Through a series of miraculous and fateful circumstances, Jason survived the crash and ensuing physical and emotional catastrophe. He suffered fourth degree burns which drastically altered his appearance and has since undergone more than 50 surgeries.

mdi_Jason_Schechterle_Visit_41.jpg

Jason's journey, though, highlights his triumph over tragedy. His personal narrative exemplifies that the power of the human spirit can never be underestimated.

In his talks with players and staff from the Club, he spoke about values and how those of Ipswich Town now match those of PSPRS, and the people they represent.

PSPRS represent former public safety personnel (the majority being of police and fire services) and provide retirement benefits and programmes for nearly 60,000 active members, retired members and surviving beneficiaries.

mdi_Jason_Schechterle_Visit_40.jpg

Jason's inspiring speeches reminded Club personnel that their values and attitudes must align to Ipswich Town stakeholders - the fans of the Football Club, as well as those of the people that PSPRS represent, culminating in the mantra 'run towards adversity'.

The message 'running towards adversity’ lines the collar of the Club's home and away kits this season, while there is also a sign, with names of office staff, coaching staff and players, just outside the first team dressing room at Portman Road. The sign is the last thing the players see before they exit the tunnel and emerge on to the pitch ahead of a home fixture.

mdi_Ipswich_Bolton_010.jpg

The players have bought into the message, with Jason's talk having a profound impact on them both as a unit and individually.

Having drawn on his life experiences to remind players and staff about what those words mean, and why they matter, Jason formed a special bond with the Club.

To him, PSPRS, every board member, every shareholder and every player or staff member at the Club, the words 'run towards adversity' mean something.

To back that up, PSPRS and the board members at the Club have financially supported non-playing staff to help with the cost-of-living crisis with club wide staff salary increases in line with inflation. PSPRS are committed to the long-term rebuilding on Ipswich Town, and recognises its staff are a vital to ultimate success.

mdi_Jason_Schechterle_Visit_05.jpg

“It was an absolute pleasure to have Jason with us,” Mark Ashton told the Club website.

“We spoke with Jason for more than a year about a visit to Portman Road, and it was more than worth the wait.

“Jason is an inspiration to us all, and it was clear that his words and life experiences had a real impact on both players and staff.

“It is imperative that we share his values as we represent our fans with honour and humility.

“The Club, and everyone that represents it, will always strive to do the right thing.”

Jason was also a special guest of the Club's for the home fixture with Bolton Wanderers, and thoroughly enjoyed his first visit to Suffolk.

mdi_Ipswich_Bolton_132.jpg

 


Advertisement block