BCSA winners - 2010/11
End of Season Winner
Rabiya Ahmed from Preston was awarded the Barclays Community Sports Award of the Season for her work with the Fishwick Rangers Youth Development Scheme in Lancashire, where she has provided sport schemes for local women and ethnic minorities in the area.
Over the last two years Rabiya has worked in a voluntary capacity with the Fishwick Rangers Youth Development Scheme, establishing a number of schemes for women from ethnic minorities who previously did not take part in any sporting activities.
Rabiya has managed to increase the numbers of ethnic minority women participating in football, runs a number of football teams, and has set up swimming and fitness sessions to increase sporting participation amongst ethnic minority women who have suffered from social exclusion. She has also managed to encourage a further 25 women to become volunteers like herself.
Due to her commitment to the local community and the positive effect she has had on the women in Preston, Rabiya has been chosen as the first winner of the Barclays Community Sports Award of the Season that is backed by Barclays Spaces for Sports, the Premier League and the Football Foundation.
Rabiya Ahmed and Gareth Southgate
Commenting on winning the award Rabiya said: “I am delighted to have my work recognised by winning this award. I wanted to increase participation among women in Preston and the prize money will be a great help in continuing the Fishwick Rangers Youth Development Scheme".
Gareth Southgate, who heads up the judging panel for the award, said: “Rabiya is a worthy winner of the Barclays Community Sports Award. Her work is a credit to herself and her family, and I hope will be an inspiration for others to become involved with community sport. I am particularly impressed with the increase in numbers of women participating in sport thanks to her volunteering.”
As the end of season award winner Rabiya won £5,000 towards her project and a VIP trip to London to receive her award from Gareth Southgate at the League of Managers Association Annual Dinner held on May 23, 2011.
Paul Valinski from Dorchester was awarded the Barclays Community Sports Award for April by Barclays Spaces for Sports, the Premier League’s Creating Chances programme and the Football Foundation.
After moving to the Maiden Newton area 11 years ago, Paul pioneered the development of local sports facilities for the community and set up the FA affiliated Maiden Newton Junior Football Club. His tireless campaigning led to a Multi-User Games Area being built which has allowed the club to train 50 children and host friendly matches against neighbouring teams. This site was funded by Barclays Spaces for Sports.
Paul has played a vital part in all aspects of the community after taking up the positions of Chair of the Youth and Community Centre, Youth Club Leader and being elected onto the local council. Using his status he implemented sports and coaching into the existing council programmes. Through the support of the Football Foundation, Paul has been able to undertake his Level 1 FA coaching badge as well as offering the opportunity to twenty-one other members of the local community.
Winner Paul, commented: “'Maiden Newton is a small village with a fantastic community spirit and it is wonderful for it to be recognised by Barclays Spaces for Sports, the Football Foundation and the Premier League Creating Chances. When I moved here I wanted to improve the sporting facilities for the local children by giving them somewhere to learn new skills, build up their confidence and make new friends. I can't believe that our efforts have now been awarded in this way".
Gareth Southgate, who is heading up the judging panel for the award, said: “Paul’s work for the Maiden Newton area has been exemplary. Having been a prominent figure in the building of local facilities he has been an invaluable member of the community and fully deserves his award.
Jenny Leyland from Merseyside was awarded the Barclays Community Sports Award for March by Barclays Spaces for Sports, the Premier League’s Creating Chances programme and the Football Foundation.
Jenny formed Sutton Junior Football academy in 2008 by donating £1000 of her own money, after learning that local children did not have access to a junior football team in their area. The academy, which started off with only 8 children, has now grown to a FA Charter Standard club with fifty members that are trained by nine fully qualified coaches.
Despite dividing her time between a full time teaching job and the football academy, 63 year old Jenny offers each new member a thorough health-screening and continues to host fund raising events to ensure that the teams are able to keep training.
As well as allowing the local children to partake in weekly football matches and training sessions, Jenny also pays for enthusiastic members to take their coaching badges and other training through courses at a local college.
Phil Thompson presenting March BCSA to Jenny Leyland
Winner Jenny, who was recently awarded an MBE for her 20 years service to grassroots football, commented: “ I’m absolutely over the moon the receive this award. I can’t thank Barclays Spaces for Sports, the Premier League’s Creating Chances programme and the Football Foundation enough for their support. This money will go a long way towards kit for the teams and allow me to buy further health screening equipment for our members”.
Gareth Southgate, who is heading up the judging panel for the award, said: “Jenny Leyland has been a real inspiration to the people of Sutton. Her work has been vital for the well being of the young people in the area, and created a place for them to spend their weekends that is both enjoyable and educational. The enthusiasm she shows for the Sutton Junior Football academy, and all grassroots football, is superb.”
Disability Inclusive Sports Club
The Disability Inclusive Sports Club (DISC) based in Towcester has been named as the Barclays Community Sports Award winner for February by Barclays Spaces for Sports, the Premier League’s Creating Chances programme and the Football Foundation.
The club started in 2008 after South Northamptonshire Council funded a monthly taster session of sports, specifically aimed at young people with disabilities and their families. Due to the success of this event a permanent club was founded after the council reached out for willing volunteers in the community to run and staff it. In recent years, the club has managed to reach 65 registered members.
Due to members being unable to participate in mainstream sporting activities, DISC offers inclusive sporting opportunities to all. The club provides regular sessions that aim to promote self-confidence through social inclusion and an appreciation of sport as an enjoyable way for those with disabilities to spend their time. A number of qualified coaches provide expert coaching sessions in swimming, badminton, yoga and martial arts amongst other sports.
The award is judged by a panel which includes former England footballer and Gareth Southgate, who commented: “The Disability Inclusive Sports Club have been doing a fantastic job at promoting a healthy lifestyle to young people that often don’t have the chance to partake in sporting activities. The fact that they now have over 60 members is a sign of the superb work that DISC is doing for the community.”
Lynette Emary, the Club Chair commented: “We’re absolutely over the moon to receive this award from Barclays Spaces for Sports, the Premier League’s Creating Chances programme and the Football Foundation. The work that DISC does is invaluable to the local disabled community and the money will allow us to to increase the range of activities we offer to our members, increase our membership and hopefully branch into specific sport training groups”.
One in a Million
Bradford based charity One in a Million was named as the Barclays Community Sports Award winner for January by Barclays Spaces for Sports, the Premier League’s Creating Chances programme and the Football Foundation.
The charity is dedicated to helping disadvantaged children in the local community through sporting activities and informal education, preventing crime and anti-social behavior while promoting healthy living and community cohesion.
Co-founded by Bradford City Assistant Manager Wayne Jacobs, the charity is based at the home of Bradford City FC and among other activities provides a Twilight Football League that runs on Friday nights at five different locations across the city. After the five-a-side matches have taken place, each team has a mentor that speaks about various issues including gang crime, vandalism or alcohol abuse. The scheme not only keeps young people off the streets at night but attempts to educate them about these important issues.
The charity was presented with the Barclays Community Sports Award by former England footballer and judging panel member Gareth Southgate, who commented: “One in a Million is a truly unique scheme that engages young people through sport while educating them on important issues. The West Yorkshire police have noticed a huge reduction in local crime while the scheme has been in existence which is testament to the fantastic and important work the charity is doing.”
Charity fundraiser Sean Rutherford commented: “It is fantastic to receive this award in recognition of the important work that One in a Million does with disadvantaged young people across Bradford. A huge thanks to Barclays Spaces for Sports, the Premier League’s Creating Chances programme and the Football Foundation for their support. This money will be vital in ensuring that One in a Million can continue their great work across the region.”
Rabiya Ahmed - Fishwick Rangers Youth Development Scheme
Rabiya Ahmed from Preston, Lancashire, was awarded the monthly Barclays Community Sports Award by Barclays Spaces for Sports, the Premier League’s Creating Chances programme and the Football Foundation.
At only 18 years of age, Rabiya Ahmed has already dedicated two years to the Fishwick Rangers Youth & Community Development Scheme based in Preston. The scheme provides a range of interests to disadvantaged people in the local community – giving them a productive way to spend their free time and improve their fitness. One of the activities provided to the youth of Preston is an Asian female football team, which Rabiya manages single handedly.
She began volunteering at Fishwick Rangers aged 16 and went on to gain qualifications in both Sports Leadership and Football Coaching. Thanks to her hard work and determination, around 20 Asian girls aged 7 to 12-years-old now meet each week to train and take part in competitive matches.
As well as coaching the team and managing the administration side, Rabiya is a role model for the children she trains. She provides them with advice and support in all areas and dedicates most of her spare time to organising matches, enabling young Asian women to take part in a sport they may previously have felt excluded from. Her enthusiasm and success has also inspired a number of other young people to volunteer at Fishwick Rangers.
On top of her work with young people, Rabiya also delivered a 40-week scheme for Asian women in the local community that involves weekly swimming and fitness sessions in a female only environment, run by qualified instructors.
Winner Rabiya Ahmed commented: “It was a complete surprise to be nominated and an even bigger shock to win the Barclays Community Sport Award. I do the work because I enjoy it and to be recognized in this way for doing something I love is fantastic. The prize money means that the ladies football team can continue to grow as funding is essential to us, so the players are thrilled.”
Fayyaz Ahmed, Secretary at Fishwick Rangers, said: “Rabiya has been a great benefit to our organisation as she has overcome major barriers within the community and cultural differences enabling young Asian females to volunteer and gain key skills and confidence. She alone managed to talk and persuade elders within the Asian community to allow their daughters to take part and assist within the community.”
Gareth Southgate, who is heading up the judging panel for the award, said: “Rabiya Ahmed is an inspiration to young people in the UK. She saw a gap in the opportunities available for young Asian women in her local community and set up a women’s football team that enables them not only to train and exercise weekly, but to work on important skills like team work and self confidence. She has also inspired her peers to volunteer their time to Fishwick Rangers, which is testament to the role model she has become in her community.”
Akay Isola - All Stars Youth Club
Akay Isola MBE, founder of the All Stars Boxing and Youth Club in London, was awarded the monthly Barclays Community Sports Award.
‘Mr Akay’, as he is known locally, founded the boxing club in 1974 after he noticed a lack of places for young adults in the local community to train. The club has since become an institution within the community, providing training, support, encouragement and guidance to the youth of West London. The 75-year-old’s dedication and skill set has produced several local and national boxing champions, as well as enabling disadvantaged children and young adults to develop the skills needed to compete both in and out of the ring.
Early on, Mr Akay and his young members had no official club residence and trained as often as possible outdoors, with occasional access to a local gym. Finally the local youth council – impressed with Mr Akay’s results – provided the club with a disused property. To secure the funding needed to turn the building into a workable facility, Mr Akay managed to register the club as a charity, obtain a lottery grant and by matching funds from the Sports Council he raised the £1,500 needed for renovation and equipment. The club now has approximately 300 members who train and compete in boxing competitions or partake in the KO Circuit fitness programme – teaching boxing fitness exercises and skills to the general public, as well as creating an extra source of income for the club.
Winner Mr Akay Isola MBE commented: “I am overwhelmed to receive the Barclays Community Sports Award from Barclays Spaces for Sports, the Premier League’s Creating Chances programme and the Football Foundation. I thoroughly enjoy what I do and I’m so happy to be in a position where I can help young people turn their energies towards positive achievements. The prize money will go a long way towards funding new equipment for the club.”
Club supporter David Lieber spoke at the award presentation: “I am thrilled that Mr Akayhas been recognised with this award. He gives his time and energy totally unconditionally six or seven times a week and his enthusiasm is infectious. He not only trains the hundreds of All Stars members but teaches them life values, camaraderie and respect. Mr Akay thoroughly deserves this recognition and will use the prize money to benefit the whole club.”
Gareth Southgate, who is heading up the judging panel for the award, said: “The quick growth of the All Stars Boxing and Youth Club and the commitment of its members and volunteers is testament to the outstanding contribution from Mr Akay in getting this fantastic club up and running. He has created a place where the youth of London can not only learn the commitment and dedication it takes to become a professional sportsman, but where members from all walks of life can improve their fitness levels.”
Simon O' Brien Ellington - Charioteers Wheelchair Football Club
Simon O’Brien Ellington, Chairman and Founder of The Charioteers Wheelchair Football Club in Ipswich, was awarded the October Barclays Community Sports Award.
Simon started the club with the help of the Suffolk Football Association, Ipswich Borough Council and the Wheelchair Football Association after his wife Claire – who is a wheelchair user – spotted wheelchair football on the TV and expressed a desire to play.
Early on Simon’s enthusiasm secured two partnerships to support the scheme - one with charity Optua who funded the first two training sessions and another with Novotel Hotel who continue to supply funding for the hall hire and team strips. The hotel was also the venue for the award presentation where the Mayor of Ipswich, Councillor Jane Chambers, showed her ongoing support for the club by presenting Simon with his trophy.
Through Simon’s dedication, Suffolk’s only wheelchair football club was created and now includes a team of 19 players who meet fortnightly. Simon and wife Claire now have FA Level 1 coaching qualifications so sessions can run as professionally as possible.
Simons dedication to the club see's him work as the first aider, wheelchair mechanic, marketing manager, qualified coach and general jack of all trades. WIthout his dedication there would be no wheelchair football club in Ipswich and wouldn't be the only registered charity wheelchair football club throughout the whole of the Wheelchair Football Association. Simon devised the club motto "Family & Fun".
Winner Simon O’Brien Ellington commented: “I am honoured to receive the Barclays Community Sports Award, which I accept on behalf of my wife and our members without whom the club would not exist, and who constantly inspire me to keep working. The prize money will go a long way in securing the club’s future.”
Club supporter Mayor Chambers spoke at the award presentation: “I am thrilled that Barclays Spaces for Sports, the Premier League’s Creating Chances programme and the Football Foundation have recognised Simon’s outstanding achievement in setting up a wheelchair football club in Ipswich. Both Simon and Claire have my utmost gratitude for contributing to the local community in this way.”
Christophe Ughetto, General Manager at the Novotel Ipswich Centre which supports the Charioteers club, said: “Simon has never stopped working to keep the club alive and attract new members. Not only did he need to raise awareness, but he also needed funding, training facilities and equipment. His tenacity, determination and passion for the club have always been second to none even when it became very difficult to secure training facilities.”
Gareth Southgate, who is heading up the judging panel for the award, said: “The quick growth of the club and the commitment of the players is testament to the outstanding contribution from Simon, and of course his wife Claire, in getting this fantastic team up and running.”
Andy Thorp - Street Soccer
Andy Thorp, founder of Street Soccer, won the first ever Barclays Community Sports Award to honour his outstanding contribution to grassroots sport in the UK.
The Manchester based initiative, founded in 2005, enables homeless individuals to rehabilitate themselves through football with the support of a 30-strong volunteer base.
With Andy’s help Street Soccer has grown from a Salford-based weekly football training session to a full rehabilitation scheme providing FA Level 1 coaching qualifications to individuals who are homeless, in supported housing or on probation.
FA Level 3 qualified coach Andy currently combines his work in Street Soccer with coaching Salford College in the English Colleges League, tapping into his previous experiences of coaching Leigh RMI, Trafford FC and Rochdale AFC U16s. Andy also has experience of working in the community having previously served with Manchester City FIC, Football Focus and Ambassadors in Sport.
Winner Andy Thorp commented: “I am honoured to receive the Barclays Community Sports Award. We set up Street Soccer as a place for people to meet, make friends and play sport, but also where they can gain coaching qualifications which will ultimately make them more employable. The prize money will ensure more individuals than ever are able to work towards an FA Level 1 coaching qualification.”
Gareth Southgate, who is heading up the judging panel for the award, said: “We are delighted to recognise Andy’s amazing contribution to grassroots sport in the Manchester area. Along with his team he works 50 weeks of the year providing support for the homeless, which shows the relentless dedication he has to Street Soccer.
“With centres in Stockport, Bolton, Wigan and Leigh, and plans to expand further, this is certainly testament to the outstanding contribution from Andy and his team.”