Alex Brooker and Martin Keown lead the call for nominations, urging communities to honour their local heroes.
The 2017 Community Awards, presented by McDonald’s and the UK’s four home nation football associations, are now open for nominations. The awards recognise and celebrate grassroots volunteers across the UK who make a real difference to their communities.McDonald’s is the longest standing supporter of grassroots football in the UK and continues to champion those who enable children and young adults to play and enjoy football regardless of gender or disability.
McDonald’s Head of English Football Martin Keown is calling on local communities across the UK to nominate those grassroots heroes who have made a real impact; “McDonald’s has been playing an active role in supporting grassroots football for fifteen consecutive years. Being involved in the McDonald’s Community Awards once again has allowed me to see the continued efforts of thousands of unsung heroes that go into making sure young players of all ages, genders and abilities reach their potential.”
The former Arsenal and England defender said: “Anyone can be nominated for an award; from coaches and caretakers to club secretaries and fund raisers, anyone whose selflessness and commitment allows children to enjoy grassroots football in a safe, friendly and welcoming environment and without discrimination.”
TV personality and football fan Alex Brooker has backed the 2017 McDonald’s grassroots programme, saying: “Disability is about what you can do, not about what you can’t do. I’ve witnessed first-hand the achievements of disabled athletes. With support, dedication and training some amazing things can happen.
“Volunteers are the lifeblood of sustaining and developing grassroots clubs and the Community Awards recognise the vital contribution they make, giving their time and dedication for the love of the sport. Football brings people together, it allows kids to have fun, be social, make new friends and get active.”
McDonald’s is a long term partner of the FA during which time thousands of grassroots clubs have benefitted. This support has encapsulated all facets of keeping the beautiful game going, from training football coaches and running community football days, to equipping the UK’s 5000+ FA accredited football clubs with brand new kit annually, and is on track to donate its 250,000th kit this year.
Kelly Simmons, Football Participation and Development Director at the FA adds “McDonald’s has supported grassroots football in partnership with The FA for the last 15 years. Over that time McDonald’s has become an integral part of growing the game for boys and girls all around the country. With McDonald’s investment into key programmes and initiatives, they help us to make great strides in achieving our goal to provide football for all. We couldn’t do all that we do without the help of our partners and McDonald’s are a shining example of how to make a difference. We thank them for their support for the last 15 years and for the years ahead.”
The awards, which take place in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, have eight categories including the People’s Award, which is voted for the by the public, and in England have two awards new for 2017 – Coach of the Year and Best Inclusive Programme.
Nominations for The FA, FAW, Scottish FA and IFA Community Awards, presented by McDonald’s, are now open. To nominate a grassroots football club or volunteer go to www.mcdonalds.co.uk/awards
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