The McDonald’s Irish FA Community Awards 2013 have been launched to recognise and reward the clubs, coaches and volunteers that make outstanding contributions to grassroots football across Northern Ireland.
Last year Coleraine-man Andy Alcorn claimed the Volunteer of the Year Award through his role as Chairman of Coleraine FC Academy and the Northwest and Coleraine Youth League, where he has been instrumental in encouraging the participation of local children in football. The Academy caters for over forty schools from the Borough, while the Youth League also facilitates clubs from the local area and beyond.
Speaking after last year’s awards night Andy Alcorn said: “It’s great reward for myself but also, when you look at the numbers we work with, you’ll realise there’s many more people involved too so I’d like to collect this award on behalf of them too.”
Nominations are open for the 2013 awards at www.mcdonalds.co.uk/kickstart or www.irishfa.com/communityawards so if you know a coach, club or volunteer that deserves recognition for their contribution to the beautiful game at grassroots level please complete an online nomination form.
Pat Jennings, McDonald’s Head of Northern Ireland Football, gives his backing to the awards initiative: “The McDonald’s Irish FA Community Awards are an excellent way of showcasing and paying tribute to the great work that is being done in grassroots football clubs and communities right across Northern Ireland. These coaches, clubs and volunteers do so much for the local game and their dedication and commitment to the children they coach is exceptional; it is only fitting that McDonald’s and the Irish FA pay special tribute to them as these are the stars of grassroots football.”
The 2012 Awards event saw Northern Ireland’s local unsung heroes being celebrated during a gala evening where special guests Sir Geoff Hurst, Ian Rush, Eric Harrison and Pat Jennings joined Northern Ireland Manager Michael O’Neill in helping McDonald’s and the Irish FA celebrate their achievements in the game at grassroots level.
The McDonald’s Irish FA Community Awards form a key part of McDonald’s Community Partnership with the Irish FA; a partnership that has been developing grassroots football since 2002 and is helping young footballers shine. This partnership is delivering a lasting legacy for grassroots football through ongoing coach creation and education, a new Club Accreditation Scheme, the McDonald’s Irish FA Community Awards and through a series of regional Small Sided Games Centres.