We’re delighted to announce the local winners of The England Football and McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards 2022.
The awards recognise and celebrate the people who put their heart and soul into the grassroots game across England, and to say a huge thank you to the incredible volunteers who inspire us all.
As usual the Sheffield & Hallamshire football community responded to our call out to to nominate their grassroots heroes, with over 160 nominations received across the ten award categories.
The following individuals were selected as local winners for the Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA and have been submitted to the National England Football judging panel for consideration for a national England Football & McDonald’s Grassroots Football Award.
The Spirit of Grassroots Football
Winner: Dave Hampshire
Dave has been the secretary of Penistone Church FC for thirty years. Under his stewardship he has seen the club grow to thirty teams across various age groups. The hours that he devotes to the club are incredible. A true volunteer who always has a smile on his face.
Grassroots Volunteer of The Year
Winner: Adel Yarnell
Adel organised a tournament which raised £3,650 for a young girl with a debilitating disease. Adel welcomes everyone and ensures that every child has an opportunity to enjoy the game they love, and a smile is all she is looking for in return. There is no Optima FC without Adel!
Grassroots Match Official of The Year
Winner: Christopher Ward
Both young and experienced local referees look to Chris for guidance. He is so approachable and is always available if you need some support or a chat. When he was appointed to the EFL, Chris could have walked away from local grassroots football, but he is just as involved now as he was on day one.
Grassroots Coach of The Year for Youth
Winner: Gordon Johnson
Our son has Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Gordon and the other coaches have been fantastic in helping to inspire him. They have both completed training to help them understand his needs and to do everything they can to help; recognising when he needs extra support, visual support or individual activity. I cannot rate Gordon highly enough for the work that he does - for free.
Grassroots Grounds Team of The Year
Winner: Paul Todd
Paul has been our on site groundsman at Handsworth for 25 years. His sheer passion to pass on his knowledge to the younger generation and create the best pitches and surroundings, which are way beyond our level, is simply amazing.
Grassroots Project of The Year
Winner: John Drury
John is the founder of Sands Utd Doncaster, a support group for men that have suffered baby loss. Over 50 men have played for the club, and over the last three years the club has raised over £20,000 for Sands and the local hospital. Even though John has had to deal with the loss of his own son, he has still given up countless hours of his own time to support other players. The club now has a committee to assist John, but he still gives up so much of his time to ensure we have games, a kit, a pitch to play on, and opportunities to network with other charity teams.
Grassroots Club of The Year
Winner: Hallam Rangers JFC
This club is putting in a huge effort to grow the women and girls’ game, with a specific focus on being female friendly. For example, over 50% of their female teams have a female coach. They are in such a strong position to have a female pathway as strong as their male offering. They always consult their members, players, parents, etc. to ensure that the club is giving the players the experience that they want.
Grassroots Coach of The Year for Adults
Winner: Paul Roidl
Not a stone is left unturned. Paul took over a club with a hell of a lot of history and saved it from just disappearing. He has put blood sweat and tears into setting up a good structure at the club and has now coached the first team possibly to a cup final (TBC) and to second or third placed finish in the league. He kept the club alive and will do anything for any of the lads.
Rising Stars of The Year
Winners: Connor wright and Danny Wainwright (co-coaches)
Connor and Danny volunteered to take on the role of co-managers, despite their own academic, work, personal and social demands. They are not invested because they have a child who plays for the team - the time they give up is purely their own. Connor and Danny have instilled an ethos of teamwork, inclusivity and enjoyment at the heart of the team. Their incredible dedication, as two 17-year-olds, is inspiring and as parents we want to give them the recognition they deserve.
Grassroots League of The Year
Winner: Sheffield & Hallamshire Women and Girls’ League
Ahead of the 2021-22 season the league agreed to expand their girls’ provision by introducing an U8’s division. They managed to recruit 16 new teams at this age group, providing football for around 150 new players. The league is always open to new ideas and have linked particularly well with the County FA around coach development sessions, with 56 coaches from their league attending the spring coaching sessions.
On behalf of everyone at the Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA, we’d like to say a huge congratulations to all of this year’s winners – and a big thank you for all you do for grassroots football in our region.
Previous award ceremonies have been virtual due to COVID-19, but we plan to return to a physical award ceremony for this year. Details of this will be announced in due course.
If you have any enquiries relating to the awards, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org