Cottenham United earn Cambridgeshire FA Community Awards double
Six winners honoured by county FA
Cottenham United earned a double award in the Cambridgeshire FA Community Awards, presented by McDonald’s.
And there were also celebrations for Cambridge City Ladies and Girls’ FC, Shane Lebbon, Tom McGinty and Robert Conyard.
The awards recognise and celebrate grassroots volunteers who make a difference to their communities.
Cottenham United won Best Inclusive Project for their joint venture with Cambs FA to address the previous low female participation of secondary school-aged girls in the club and village.
And Cottenham also won the Development Club prize, after a big increase in female participation in the village through their afterschool sessions for 11 to 16-year-old girls and by running a new SSE Wildcats session for five to 11-year-old girls.
They have also created links in the community to increase participation, sponsorship and enable the smooth transition of boys into the men’s set up, and embrace the FA mentor programme.
Cambridge City Ladies and Girls are the Community Club of the Year.
They are the biggest female club in the county, with 15 teams, from under-nines up to ladies, and they support a number of initiatives run by the county FA and have several girls in the England talent pathway at county and regional level.
Shane Lebbon, of Newmarket Town, is Coach of the Year.
He has embraced the This Girl Can campaign to bring female players into Newmarket Town Youth FC as, after setting up the ladies’ team several years ago, he has now also established a reserve team and coaches and manages the under-10 and under-14 girls.
McGinty is the current secretary and fixtures secretary of Fowlmere Football Club and was recognised for his outstanding contribution to community football.
He first joined the club when he was 13, and promptly became involved in running it, which he has done now for almost 60 years.
Conyard, of March Soccer School, was the Young Volunteer of the Year.
The 17-year-old Level 1 qualified coach has been volunteering, coaching and refereeing at March for the last three seasons and also coaches holiday sessions regularly for Cambridge United.
All the winners go forward to the regional awards.
Chris Abbott, the volunteer development officer at Cambs FA, said, “It was pleasing to receive so many nominations from local people who appreciate the commitment and enthusiasm put in by numerous volunteers to make football happen.
“We wish the six winners the best of luck in the regional awards. Also, I would like to say a huge thank you to the many volunteers who support grassroots football in Cambridgeshire.”