There would be no grassroots football without the tremendous work that volunteers do year in, year out.
They are the beating heart of grassroots football, the people who give their time, effort and energy to make a positive impact on the game. As a way of thanking them for their dedication, the Sheffield and Hallamshire County FA hosted the Grassroots Football Awards 2022 to recognise the achievements of local grassroots volunteers.
The county FA received over 160 nominations for people who have gone above and beyond in their local communities. With so many nominations, it was extremely tough to judge, but 11 winners were chosen and named as local winners of the England Football & McDonalds Grassroots Football Awards 2022.
The award ceremony was held in October at the New York Stadium, hosted by BBC Radio Sheffield’s Andy Giddings.
The Spirit of Grassroots Football
Dave Hampshire, Penistone Church FC
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.
Grassroots Coach of the Year for Youth
Gordon Johnson, Kiveton Park FC
Gordon was nominated by the parents of a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to say thanks for helping to inspire their son. Gordon completed training to help better understand the boy’s needs and recognise when he needs extra support, visual support or individual activity.
Grassroots Coach of the Year for Adults
Paul Roidl, Yorkshire Main FC
Paul took over a club with vast history and saved it from disappearing. He set up a good structure and has coached the first team to improve their standing in the league and cup. He kept the club alive and puts so much effort into something that has no benefit to him; it is all for the team and the local community.
Grassroots Grounds Team of the Year
Paul Todd, Handsworth JFC
Paul has been the groundsman at Handsworth for 25 years and is remarked as being the cog that makes the club tick without ever kicking a ball. He strives to pass on his knowledge to the younger generation and create the best pitches and surroundings.
Grassroots Project of the Year
John Drury, Sands Utd Doncaster
After John lost his baby son, he founded Sands Utd Doncaster, a support group for men that have experienced 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. The club now has a committee to assist John, but he still gives up so much of his time to ensure they have games, a kit, a pitch to play on, and opportunities to network with other charity teams.
Grassroots Club of the Year
Hallam Rangers JFC
Hallam Rangers have put a huge effort in to growing the women and girls’ game, with a specific focus on being female friendly. Over half of their female teams have a female coach and they now have a female pathway as strong as their male offering.
Grassroots League of the Year
Sheffield & Hallamshire Women and Girls’ League
Ahead of the 2021-22 season, the league agreed to expand their girls’ provision by introducing an U8s division. They managed to recruit 16 new teams at that 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.
Rising Stars of The Year
Connor Wright and Danny Wainwright, Sheffield Steelers FC
Connor and Danny volunteered to take on the role of co-managers of an under-7s team, despite their own academic, work, personal and social demands. These two 17-year-old lads have instilled an ethos of teamwork, inclusivity and enjoyment at the heart of the team and were nominated by their players’ parents.
Grassroots Volunteer of The Year
Adel Yarnell, Optima FC
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.
Grassroots Match Official of The Year
Christopher Ward, Worksop Sunday League
Chris is an assistant referee in the EFL but still referees in the Worksop Sunday league. Both young and experienced local referees look to Chris for guidance.