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Wheelchair basketball chairman wins Barclays Community Sports Award
Andy Flowers received his Barclays Community Sports Award from ex-England defender Gareth Southgate
Andy Flowers received his Barclays Community Sports Award from ex-England defender Gareth Southgate Andy Flowers received his Barclays Community Sports Award from ex-England defender Gareth Southgate
Press release

The Barclays Community Sports Award for January has been awarded to Andrew Flower, Chairman of the Spitfire Wheelchair Basketball Club in Staffordshire, by judging panel member and ex-pro footballer Gareth Southgate.

After an initial reluctance to try the sport, Andrew took part in his first wheelchair basketball session ten years ago and became hooked. A vital member of the team, Andrew was the obvious choice to step in to the Chairman position two years ago and negotiated for the team to move into a bigger and more suitable venue.

Andrew has ploughed his energies into revitalising the team, making the decision to pull out of the official wheelchair basketball league to concentrate on growing membership and improving the weekly team training sessions. The Spitfires now have twelve members but are keen to raise awareness throughout Staffordshire, and to create an additional junior team. Andrew spends his free time applying for grants that are used for regional advertising or to supply new wheelchairs and equipment, as well as organising fund-raising events to secure the team’s financial future.

Upon receiving the award, Andrew commented: "I couldn’t believe it when I found out I had won a Barclays Community Sports Award. Wheelchair Basketball is a fantastic sport, not just for the health benefits it gives the team but for the social element it involves. We all love being part of the team and only hope that our membership continues to grow”.

Gareth Southgate, a judge on the Barclays Community Sports Award panel, said: “It was a real honour for me to meet Andy and the rest of the Spitfire Wheelchair

Basketball Team. Andy works tirelessly to raise awareness of what the sport can offer to those in his area, and it was an easy choice for Barclays Spaces for Sports, the Football Foundation and the Premier League’s Creating Chances programme to reward him this month”.

The Barclays Community Sports Award is in its second year and will be awarded each month throughout the football season, just like the awards for the Barclays Player and Manager of the Month. The award aims to demonstrate the outstanding contributions to grassroots sports that are being made by individuals up and down the country, at the same time as those in the professional game are being recognised for their achievements.

The Barclays Community Sports Award is delivered in partnership between Barclays Spaces for Sports, the Premier League’s Creating Chances programme and the Football Foundation.

Each monthly winner will receive £1,000 for their group or organisation, a limited edition trophy and will be entered into the end of season award to win a further £5,000, all donated by Barclays Spaces for Sports. The end of season award winner will also receive a VIP trip to London to receive their award from Gareth Southgate.

To nominate a person, group or organisation for the Barclays Community Sports Award of the Month simply visit www.barclayscommunitysportsaward.com

Notes to editor
Barclays Spaces for Sports 
• Barclays Spaces for Sports is a community sports programme using sport to revitalise disadvantaged communities in the UK and around the world. 
• Barclays Spaces for Sports programmes use sport as the platform from which to deliver an important range of life skills to disadvantaged communities. 
• In the UK Barclays has delivered 200 community sports sites which are used by an average of 53,000 people each week.  Over 30 different sports and activities are offered with participation, not sporting excellence, being the key ethos. 
• Barclays has funded 12 global sport for development programmes across 9 countries. 
• Barclays has invested over £37m in this programme since its launch in 2004 which represents the largest ever investment in grassroots sport by a private sector company in the UK. 
• To find out more visit www.barclays.com/spacesforsports 
Premier League Creating Chances 
The Premier League launched Creating Chances in 2007 to use the power of football to increase sporting participation and encourage individual clubs to bring about positive social change in their local communities. The Premier League invested £111.6 million in community good causes between 2007 and 2010 – a figure that represents nearly 4% of the League’s revenue. This investment has enabled clubs to engage 14 million participants and levered £305 million of partnership funding. Key Creating Chances initiatives include: 
• Kickz - Premier League clubs work with their local police forces to engage with young people in some of the most disadvantaged areas of England 
• Premier League 4 Sport - a groundbreaking £3.8m partnership with the UK Government that uses football to encourage participation in the four Olympic sports of badminton, judo, table tennis and volleyball 
• Premier League Health - a unique £1.63m programme funded by the New Football Pools to help improve the state of men’s health in England 
• Premier League Enterprise – an initiative that delivers information, advice and enterprise activities to young people aged 11-19 years old 
• Premier League into Work – a scheme that gives jobseekers the skills and abilities they need to find work, while improving their fitness levels and football skills 
• Premier Skills - an innovative coaching development programme run in conjunction with the British Council in 15 countries in Africa and Asia 
The Football Foundation 
Funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government (via Sport England), the Football Foundation is the nation’s largest sports charity. Launched in July 2000, the Foundation has so far supported around 8,000 community sports projects worth more than £945m. For more information, visit www.footballfoundation.org.uk