Town's 'running towards adversity' mantra is more than words... it's real and it's human

Manager of Ipswich Town, Kieran McKenna - Jason Schechterle Visit, Portman Road, Ipswich, UK - 27th

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna, pictured with Jason Schechterle during his visit - Credit: MatchDay Images Limited

The words ‘run towards adversity’ are the last thing the Ipswich Town players see when they leave their Portman Road dressing room on matchday. 

It’s emblazoned above the door and every player and staff member at the club has signed it, pledging to give their all. 

'Running towards adversity' is printed into the collars of the players’ shirts, too, acting as a regular reminder of the level of responsibility which comes with representing the Blues in the club’s new era. 

Those three words have quickly become central to Ipswich Town over the last 16 months – but they are far more than just words. 

'Run towards adversity' appears above the dressing room door at Portman Road

'Run towards adversity' appears above the dressing room door at Portman Road - Credit: ITFC

The 'running towards adversity’ mantra is the ‘vision, mission, values and behaviours’ of Ipswich Town Football Club. 

It’s real and, as many at the club have learnt over the last few days, it’s human. 

Jason Schechterle is a poignant reminder of that and embodies everything Ipswich Town believe in. His visit to Suffolk last week has both touched and motivated so many at the club. 

The former police officer is a member and representative of the Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS), which ultimately funds the Blues. 

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His life changed forever at the age of 28 when, while he was on his way to an emergency call in 2001, his patrol car was hit by a taxi travelling at more than 100 MPH and burst into flames.  

He was stuck inside for more than 90 seconds and suffered severe burns which have drastically altered his appearance. He’s had more than 50 surgeries since but has managed to triumph over tragedy, proving the power of human spirit. 

- Jason Schechterle Visit, Portman Road, Ipswich, UK - 27th July 2022

Jason Schechterle spoke to Ipswich Town's players and staff at Portman Road - Credit: MatchDay Images Limited

Schechterle was at Portman Road on Wednesday and Thursday to speak to all members of staff at the club, including Kieran McKenna and the first-team playing squad.  

And it’s clear he made a significant impact during his flying visit to Suffolk. 

Captain Sam Morsy wrote on social media: “Amazing to have this inspirational man a part of our club, we hugely appreciate the support.” 

Wes Burns wrote: “When life gives you a chance to meet a true hero, you sit down and you listen and soak it all up like a sponge. You are a true hero. An absolute honour to have met you.” 

CEO of Ipswich Town, Mark Ashton - Jason Schechterle Visit, Portman Road, Ipswich, UK - 27th July 20

Ipswich Town CEO Mark Ashton, pictured with Jason Schechterle during his visit - Credit: MatchDay Images Limited

“An absolute honour to meet Jason,” Conor Chaplin wrote. “A talk I’ll never forget. The most inspiring man with the most amazing perspective of life and values. A true hero.” 

The 48-year-old was back at Portman Road on Saturday for the draw with Bolton, with CEO Mark Ashton proud to have been able to welcome him to the club. 

“It was an absolute pleasure to have Jason with us,” he said. 

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

Jason Schechterle - Ipswich Town v Bolton Wanderers, Sky Bet League One, Portman Road, Ipswich, UK

Jason Schechterle was back at Portman Road for Town's draw with Bolton Wanderers on Saturday - Credit: MatchDay Images Limited

“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.” 

The former police officer has described the opportunity to meet and speak to all at Town as ‘the best experience of my life’. 

But for those in the room to hear him speak, the impact will surely be even greater.  

Ipswich Town CEO Mark Ashton has stressed the importance of Town's 'running towards adversity' mantra

Ipswich Town CEO Mark Ashton has stressed the importance of Town's 'running towards adversity' mantra - Credit: Archant/ITFC