Ted Collie and Phil Nott at the Hertfordshire FA Community Awards

Volunteer Awards

Recognising Local Grassroots Heroes

Hertfordshire FA Community Awards 2017

Hertfordshire FA celebrated local grassroots football at the 13th annual FA Community Awards, presented by McDonald's earlier this year at Hitchin Town Hall. 

The evening honoured the incredible range of accomplishments made by football players, teams, clubs and volunteers in Hertfordshire over the past season.

Arsenal Ladies and Lionesses Star, Danielle Carter, also made the evening all the more special as she attended as a special guest.

Following an eight-week nomination window a judging panel, made up of representatives from -Hertfordshire FA, Watford FC, Stevenage FC, Arsenal Ladies, North Herts District Council and McDonalds - selected this year's winners from hundreds of nominations their invaluable commitment to the grassroots game, week in, week out.

McDonald's is the longest-standing supporter of grassroots football in the UK. Their work has ranged from training football coaches and running community football days, to equipping the UK's 5,000-plus FA-accredited football clubs with brand new kit each year – and they are on track to donate their 250,000th kit this year. 

All in all, seven grassroots champions were chosen as winners’ of the Hertfordshire FA Community Awards 2017, presented by McDonalds. Find out more about each of the winners below:

Hertfordshire FA Young Volunteer of the year

Community Awards 2017 - Thierry Lawrence

Thierry Lawrence 

Thierry started out with Hemel Aces as a young player and has now gone full circle, now helping to develop the next generation. 16 year old Thierry has been volunteering over the past 3 years and has put in over 150 hours of his time on Saturday mornings, and some weekday evenings, over the past season. Thierry coaches the U6, U7 and U8 Soccer School, where he shows a natural rapport with the younger players, who engage with his enthusiastic approach to the coaching sessions.

About the Category: This category is a chance to reward the future of football within Hertfordshire, to recognize those people under the age of 25 that have shown commitment even some adults would shy from, especially when these volunteers are usually still playing themselves.

Hertfordshire fa coach of the year

Community Awards 2017 - Claire Hendry

Claire Hendry

Claire took on the job of helping to set up the girls division at Evergreen CFC in the summer of 2015, and now coach’s girls from the ages of 4 to 10 at the club. A parent of one Claire’s players said: 

“As a parent I’ve stood at the sidelines and watched many coaches with a sole priority to win the match. Claire is not one of those coaches. Her priority first and foremost is to instil in all the girls, regardless of their ability, a love of sport. It is a joy to turn up to training every week and see so many girls wanting to run around and be part of a team... We need more girls in sport and we need more people like Claire to make it happen!”

About the Category: Coach’s skills are essential for teaching and developing players at every level of football and can never be underestimated. All coaches entered into this category gave their players the best opportunities to develop and achieve their maximum potential…and more importantly, inspired players to enjoy the game.

Hertfordshire FA Outstanding Contribution Award

...and national FA People's Award Nominee 2017 (Greater London Region)

Community Awards 2017 - Ted Collie

Ted Collie 

Ted has served football - through a range of voluntary roles - unselfishly and enthusiastically for over 50 years. Ted currently serves as the Chairman of the Herts Senior County League and also president of Hatfield Town FC.

His dedication to provide football opportunities has meant that he’s been on the forefront of innovation in the game for a number of years. Ted helped to develop Inclusive (pan-disability) divisions of the HCSL, which is now in its 4th full season. In addition to the Inclusive League, Ted has also been at the sharp end of addressing adult participation in 11v11 football.  Furthermore, Ted has helped to organise and develop the Herts AID Cup with local charity Herts Aid too – now in its 6th year - the Cup is an 11v11 adult men’s football tournament for BME groups in the county. The focus of the day is on exercise, health and wellbeing, sexual health awareness and diabetes.

About the Category: County and regional winners of the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Community Football’ category enter the ‘People’s Award’, which is voted for by the public and the winner is then announced at The FA Community Awards ceremony. This special award celebrates exceptional volunteering efforts and is voted for by the public.

Hertfordshire FA Best Inclusive Project

The FA Community Awards in Hertfordshire

Hitchin Town Ability Counts

For countless years Jo Crouch and Julie Outram have supported the Hitchin Town FC Ability Counts team by applying for tournaments and driving players to the games and home again. The pair raised £2,000 last season to take the squad to Belfast to compete in the George Best Community Cup - a 70 team Disability Football tournament for clubs throughout the UK. The Ability Counts squad has over 30 players registered on their books with players of all abilities, from recovering alcoholics and the homeless, to players with Down syndrome and mental health issues. The trip to Belfast gave players new experience and challenges, giving them improved communication skills and a real sense of self-confidence.

About the Category: The Best Inclusive Project encourages participation for all, regardless of age, disability, gender, race, religion or sex.  A wide range of projects were nominated in this category that championed inclusion agendas, and a significant positive impact on the local community…

Hertfordshire FA Charter Standard Club Award of the year

Community Awards 2017 - Harpenden Colts FC

Harpenden Colts FC 

Harpenden Colts FC have taken an innovative and inclusive approach to providing football opportunities for boys, girls and disabled children from 6 - 18 years old. Those opportunities cover both those who wish to play in structured league teams, and those who want to play in coached groups with no pressure to play competitively. The club operates based on a written nine point club philosophy that helps to drive the direction of the club, and has a membership of nearly a 1,000 player across 60 teams.

About the category: Since The FA’s Charter Standard programme was launched it has had a positive effect grassroots football, particularly in younger age groups. There are over 60 Charter Standard clubs in Hertfordshire which made it a tough category to judge.

Hertfordshire FA Charter standard development club of the year

Community Awards 2017 - Bedwell Rangers FC

Bedwell Rangers FC

Stevenage based Bedwell Rangers FC provide opportunities for children to play football in a safe, secure and enjoyable environment. In 2016/17 the club has continued to grow and now supports over 550 young people of all abilities, providing football for players aged 4 up to 18, including fully inclusive football. With an Ethos built on allowing players to enjoy themselves, the club now has over 140 active volunteers and recently supported safeguarding initiatives for all volunteers to undergo CRB check and attend safeguarding courses.

About the category: The county’s development clubs provide football for boys and girls of all ages. Most have adult teams, level 2 coaches and a 5 year development plan.  This category focuses on quality with 11 teams in the county awarded development club status; however there are plenty of Charter clubs currently working towards stepping up.

hertfordshire FA Charter standard community club of the year


Community Awards 2017 - Berkhamsted Raiders CFC

Berkhamsted Raiders CFC

A UEFA award winning youth club, Berkhamsted Raiders CFC is a community organisation providing football for around 1,000 children in Berkhamsted and surrounding areas. Raiders’ philosophy is “Combining excellence in the community with excellence on the pitch” with no player prevented from joining the club on grounds of ability. Within the last year, Raiders have doubled the number of girls’ teams, launched a successful walking Football initiative and grown their services for Inclusive Football. Furthermore the club’s partnership with the local school, Ashlyns, on the Berkoastro 3G project is a model of a how a youth football club and a school can work together successfully for the benefit of the local community.

About the category: Community club status is the pinnacle of the Charter Standard award structure. Hertfordshire is home to some of the largest clubs in the county providing football for adults, girls, boys, futsal, disability football and links to schools and the wider community. These clubs provide the highest quality environment for young people to enjoy football.

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