The Community Shield Fund was awarded to two grassroots clubs again this year in Surrey, with Metropolitan Police Youth FC and Hambledon the duo who received £2500 each. We caught up with the Metropolitan Police Youth Club Secretary, Lisa Ness, to talk about the club’s work in the community, and how it plans to develop.
“We were established in 2008 as an off shoot of a local coaching company and started with just one team,” says Lisa. “By 2013 we had 8 teams, and were approached by the Metropolitan Police FC to form their youth section. We have since grown to 22 boys’ teams and 4 girls' teams, gaining Charter Standard Community Club status in the process.”
“We have recently joined the Surrey FA Flexible League,” explains Lisa, “and we have entered a women’s team into Female Recreational tournaments, which means our mums, dads and coaches can now take part in football too!”
Metropolitan Police Youth actively support local boroughs Elmbridge and Kingston in delivering football and have links to primary schools in the boroughs. This year we have supported the Esher Schools Year 5 and 6 Girls Football Tournament and Kingston Borough Year 2 Boys Festival.
Expanding Their Community Work
“Further to the successful work that we currently do,” continues Lisa, “we have recently decided to think about the backgrounds of the children representing the club and be genuinely representative of the community we operate in.”
A key part of their funding allocation is the 5 action delivery points (ways that the money should be used), one of which is the desire to ‘engage with the local Asian community and provide support and opportunities to play football’.
This is already taking being put into action and, as local father Samir explains, the club’s efforts are already helping to develop young footballers.
“It all came about as my son wanted to play football, however at the time it was November, and by that stage the season had started and it was too late for him to find a club", says Samir I decided to start a session every Sunday at Goals in New Malden, just to see how it went. Initially it started as 5 or 6 kids, but every week we had a few more turn up, and now we have a 50 strong group of boys who love the chance to play football!”
“The recent tournament was an idea instigated by Metropolitan Police Youth, and on the day we had 30 boys divided into 6 teams of, and had a great 5-a-side tournament. The boys were chomping at the bit to have something like this to play in, and they all absolutely loved it."
"On top of that we now have some equipment donated to us, namely balls, bibs and cones, but we’re also being given detailed information on how to run training sessions, which is really important for improving the boys.”
“Myself and a couple of other dads are currently going through our Criminal Record Checks, and once this comes back clear we’ll be looking to take the Level 1 Coaching Course," finalises Samir. "This will again be subsidised by Met Police Youth, and we’re really grateful for their help.”The FA Community Shield raises hundreds of thousands of pounds every year, distributed to community-based initiatives and charities up and down the country. For the chance to apply for the 2018 fund, ensure you keep up-to-date with our website and Twitter.