Introducing our Grassroots Football Award Winners!
This week we had the Wiltshire FA and Charlton Baker Grassroots Football Excellence Awards Ceremony 2022.
With the support of awards sponsor, Charlton Baker, we included an additional eight awards this year alongside the annual England Football & McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards to recognise and thank more clubs, leagues, players, volunteers and projects that are making a difference in grassroots football in Wiltshire.
Oliver Selfe, Wiltshire FA CEO said, “We thoroughly enjoyed celebrating our Grassroots Heroes at Melksham Town FC this week.
“Each season we are greatly impressed by the inspiring people in our football community, who are dedicated to making the game happen week in, week out.
“We are thrilled to have recognised these contributions to grassroots football, thanking our clubs, leagues, volunteers, referees, players and grounds teams who go the extra mile, never give up and work tirelessly to keep the game going.”
England Football and McDonald’s have been recognising and celebrating the people who put their heart and soul into the grassroots game across England for many years. In 2020 Charlton Baker partnered with Wiltshire FA to further reward the remarkable contribution to football in Wiltshire.
Luke Rudman, Associate Director at Charlton Baker said, “Our partnership with Wiltshire FA started in 2020 just before the world was hit by Covid. Although we were able to award some fantastic work last year, we are delighted to have hosted a celebration event this year, thanking the grassroots football community for their time, dedication and commitment with our Excellence Awards.
“Our awards focus on the people making a difference. The people who are pioneering disability football, the people who show determination and resilience in their game, the people who are using football to enhance the Wiltshire community and the people who are trying to raise the standard of football.”
Local accountancy firm Charlton Baker offer a blend of accounting, taxation and business and legal services with offices in Devizes and Pewsey with a new office opening soon in Trowbridge.
Introducing our heroes...
Making a Difference Award - MARK GODDARD
The winner is... Mark Goddard, Worton & Cheverell FC for his consistent, hard work throughout the pandemic, ensuring the players were able to return to play in safety. Mark also stepped up and supported the club after it had been hit by Storm Eunice, fundraising for a new roof.
Also being praised for his coaching, Mark always provides a positive environment, prioritising developing confidence, wellbeing and self-esteem alongside football.
Presented by Scott, Charlton Baker.
Inclusive Football and Community Involvement Award – Swindon Town FC Community Foundation
The winner is... Swindon Town FC Community Foundation for their Asylum Seekers and Refugees Project. This project provides those who seek asylum or have refugee status in Swindon weekly sessions to help them rebuild their lives.
Those who have fled conflict can come to football sessions to find new friends, learn the language and local area in a safe and secure space.
This is an opportunity to thank Swindon Town FC Community Foundation for using football to break down barriers and to encourage positive futures.
Presented by Ollie, Wiltshire FA.
Progression Award – Keir Doherty
The winner is... Keir Doherty, Salisbury Rovers FC for continually striving to be the best he can be, developing skills to improve the standard of football in Wiltshire.
Just 16 years old, Keir is a level 1 coach who prepares imaginative sessions every Saturday for his team. He works with children with special needs, offering 1:1 support. He supports Community Sessions and sits on the Club Committee as well as being a valued member of the Wiltshire FA Youth Council.
Praised for his compassionate approach and positive impact, Keir is a future leader in sport.
Grassroots Coach of the Year for Adults - Charlie Griffin
The winner is... Charlie Griffin, Swindon Supermarine for showing true dedication and providing positive, encouraging environments when it matters most.
Grassroots Coach of the Year for Youth Teams – Neil Tustin
The winner is... Neil Tustin, Highworth Town Juniors for showing true dedication and providing positive, encouraging environments when it matters most.
Presented by Mark, Wiltshire FA.
Rising Star of the Year - Tyler Affleck
The winner is... Tyler Affleck, Royal Wootton Bassett Town FC for being a fantastic role model and showing dedication to making grassroots football enjoyable for all. Tyler has made a real contribution to the community.
Presented by Colin, Wiltshire FA.
iPRO Healthy, Safe and Sustainable Club Award – Holly Taylor and Chris Bottle
The winner is... Holly Taylor and Chris Bottle, Clarendon Juniors FC for fulfilling their ambitions to have nature and sport working alongside each other. Clarendon Juniors have taken the iPRO Pledge, showing their commitment to look after the physical health, mental health and the health of the environment and have now further developed their support for the environment by setting up 5 ‘Nature Zones’ around the football playing fields. The areas are populated with plants, flowers and trees to create different habitats, restoring the local ecology to provide shelter, food and protection for insects, birds and mammals. It is also hoped the ‘Nature Zones’ will also become ‘Safe Zones’, providing a welcoming space for children who may need some space and quiet time.
Presented by Sam and Rob, iPRO Hydrate.
Ability Counts Excellence Award – Trowbridge Wanderers FC
The winner is... Trowbridge Wanderers FC for their commitment to disability football, offering fantastic sessions for all.
Presented by Lyndon, Wiltshire FA.
Wildcats Centre of the Year – Stratton Juniors FC
The winner is... Stratton Juniors FC for offering a fantastic environment for girls to give football a try. Sessions are fun and social where girls can learn new skills, make friends and have fun.
Presented by Ash, Wiltshire FA.
Strakers safeguarding Excellence Award – Emma Burton
The winner is... Emma Burton, Alderbury Youth FC for showing excellent commitment to keeping children safe in football. Emma is a great role model, offering support and guidance to everyone at Alderbury Youth.
Presented by Mark, Strakers.
Grassroots League of the Year – Wiltshire Senior League
The winner is... Wiltshire Senior League for their hard work and dedication throughout the pandemic. The league has a reputation for being efficient and friendly, after seeing massive growth in the past few years and navigating their way through the pandemic with plenty of changing fixtures and communications the league has gone above and beyond and is going from strength to strength.
Presented by Mark, Wiltshire FA.
Outstanding Personal Achievement Award – Michael Perrin
The winner is... Michael Perrin, Melksham Town FC for reaching his 60th year at Melksham Town Football Club! In his time at the club Michael has been a player, manager, secretary, Chairman and currently President of the Club. Michael has been involved in the success and progression of the club over the years and still now in making an impact.
The club and Wiltshire FA are very grateful for his commitment and we are delighted to recognise his passion, loyalty, enthusiasm and positivity.
Presented by Luke, Charlton Baker.
Grassroots Match Official of the Year – Rhiannon Stevens
The winner is... Rhiannon Stevens for her drive and determination which has resulted in a successful debut season in adult football. This young referee also offers support to other young officials, drawing on her own experience she is a mentor, always available to offer advice. Rhiannon is passionate about making sure referees are supported throughout their careers and promoting respect.
Presented by Pete, Wiltshire FA.
The Spirit of Grassroots Football – Konner Heal
The winner is... Konner Heal, Staverton Rangers FC for his positive attitude and encouragement at Staverton Rangers. Goalkeeper Konner has enhanced training at the club, tailoring sessions so goal keepers have the opportunity to gain specific skills and improve their game. Also attending matches, Konner is always offering support to his fellow keepers.
Presented by James, Wiltshire FA.
Grassroots Project of the Year – Andy Whitehead
The winner is... Andy Whitehead, Clarendon Juniors for being instrumental in improvement projects at Clarendon Juniors. Andy has been involved in developing adult teams, facility improvements in order to qualify for higher leagues and more recently initiated the development of a girls’ section at the club.
Presented by Colin, Wiltshire FA.
Grassroots Volunteer of the Year – Manny Schneider
The winner is... Manny Schneider, Chippenham Sunday League & Trowbridge District League for always going above and beyond to support two leagues in Wiltshire. Working behind the scenes, Manny has been involved in Wiltshire football for 40 years and offers an incredible source of help and advice to fellow league officers. Manny’s dedication for the role is unmatched and we are delighted to recognise his commitment to the game.
Grassroots Club of the Year – Royal Wootton Bassett Town FC
The winner is... Royal Wootton Bassett Town FC for providing a truly inclusive environment where football can thrive. The club sits right at the heart of the community and provides opportunities for everyone to get involved.
Grassroots Grounds Team of the Year – Paul Brickley
The winner is... Paul Brickley, Melksham Town FC for his hard work keeping the pitches and facility at Melksham in fantastic condition all year round. Melksham Town FC pitches are maintained to an excellent standard, the facility is safe and the team do a brilliant job making sure the game happens!
Presented by Mark, Wiltshire FA.
Thank you to our Wiltshire Leagues
Wiltshire FA would like to recognise the Wiltshire Football Leagues for all their hard work and dedication this Season. The League's offer a huge support to the County FA and we appreciate the continued support.
Oliver concludes, “These awards are our official curtain closer to the season. It is our opportunity to recognise and thank out grassroots heroes for their outstanding contribution to supporting Wiltshire Football. Thanks to the people who behave with fairness and integrity and create fun, safe and inclusive environments where you enjoy football. Thanks to the coaches, referees and volunteers who encourage the best, in both themselves and everyone around them. Thanks to the people who have risen to overcome challenges and thanks to the people who make a truly positive impact in their community.”
We would also like to thank...
We would also like to thank,
Our amazing award sponsor, Charlton Baker for supporting the game and helping us to celebrate the brilliant people in our football community!
Our presenter, the amazing James Threlfall MBE for keeping the event running smoothly!
Our fantastic musician, Ben Borrill for bringing the vibe!
Our host Melksham Town FC for a fantastic venue and fantastic support from the staff team!
Our partners for continually supporting the game!
Our photographer Paul Brewer for the great shots.
Our caterer, Silkwise Catering for the delicious food and excellent service.
And last but no means least, our staff and board members for all your efforts, you rock!