Clarendon Juniors FC is celebrating a hat trick of success after being awarded Club of the Year in The FA & McDonalds Grassroots Football Awards 2021, becoming England Football Accredited and having secured over £100,000 in funding from grants and sponsors, including £68,000 from The Football Foundation.
Oliver Selfe, CEO at Wiltshire FA said, “It is amazing to hear these stories of success,
after such turbulence we can see football still provides an opportunity for success and achievement.
“Clarendon Juniors have offered hope and optimism to their community, through two seasons of disruption and worry, by providing safe and fun football opportunities and continually striving to offer more.
“They can now take a moment to celebrate and reflect on their hard work, commitment and enthusiasm and enjoy the positive impact they have made.”
Clarendon Juniors FC, based in Winterslow near Salisbury, is home to ten mini teams, aged 7-11, seven junior teams, aged 12-18 and two men’s teams, which have recently launched to provide a pathway for youth players to the adult game.
Richard Pearce, Club Chairman said “We are delighted to be announcing these successes at our presentation evening. We want to thank Winterslow Parish Council and all our dedicated volunteers for helping us achieve so much over the past season.
We are excited about the investment we are receiving from The Football Foundation, the Pitch Maintenance Fund will allow us to adopt a formal maintenance plan for our home ground, Barry’s Field, something which we haven’t been able to do before, meaning our pitches are currently graded below average.
We will also be using the funds to purchase goal posts and a tractor and also do some improvements to the grounds by increasing the capacity of the car park and protecting the wildlife at the back of the field. The future is looking bright for the club.”
The Football Foundation is the Premier League, The FA and Government’s charity, working to improve football facilities. Last year 108 clubs and organisations in Wiltshire were awarded grants amounting to £1.86 million. This funding went towards artificial grass pitches, grass pitches, changing pavilions, maintenance and goal posts, plus there were three new funds to help with the impact of Covid-19.
Richard continued, “Not only are we excited about the improvements we can make to our club with the funding we have received, but we are also delighted to be an England Football Accredited club. We have set some high standards to ensure we are offering the ideal environment for players, coaches and volunteers, and to make sure we maintain our ethos of providing inclusive football to all of our local community.”
Formerly The FA Charter Standard, England Football Accredited is the evolved FA kitemark and framework for supporting leagues and clubs, with the aim to unite even more communities by 2030.
Tim Hall, Football Development Officer at Wiltshire FA said, “Clarendon Juniors should be proud to offer an accredited environment, ensuring quality opportunities for all, where everyone counts, and everyone is valued.”
England Football Accredited, which transitions from The FA Charter Standard during 2021, will support leagues and clubs to be accessible, sustainable and safe with opportunities for all. Being recognised as England Football Accredited demonstrates clubs have a sound infrastructure and promote respect with the overall aim to create environments where people want to stay in the game and develop lifelong passion for the sport.
All existing FA Charter Standard leagues and clubs are now recognised as England Football Accredited and will be supported to achieve the changes and additions to the framework from November 2021.
Nominated for their positivity, dedication and significant growth, Clarendon Juniors has just been notified that they are this year’s winners of the The FA & McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards 2021 in the Club of the Year category.
Richard concludes, “Winning Club of the Year is really the icing on the cake! To get this recognition is truly amazing.
Covid-19 has proven football is more than a game, it is a community. It provides friendships, health and hope. This is what Clarendon Juniors stands for. We want to offer fun, enjoyable opportunities for all and a club to be proud of.”
Official announcements for all The FA & McDonalds Grassroots Football Awards local winners are coming soon! Stay tuned.
Find out more about England Football Accreditation here