Following the partnership between Surrey FA and Thorpe Park earlier this year, the UK’s most thrilling theme park welcomed members of the Surrey footballing community through the gates of their Chertsey resort on Friday 28th July, to acknowledge them for their contribution to the game.
The Grassroots Awards are staged annually by Surrey FA, and provide an opportunity for volunteers, coaches, clubs, leagues and more, to be honoured for their successes across the season.
Award categories range from 'Coach of the Year' – through male, female and disability pathways – to the newly-launched 'Lioness Award', which celebrates inspirational and positive change in the women's and/or girls' game.
This was the first time the event has been held at Thorpe Park, and the evening was hosted by Sutton United FC Director & Vice Chairman, Adrian Barry. Guests were welcomed with complimentary refreshments and were able to network with colleagues, friends and Surrey FA staff.
Surrey FA CEO, Sally Lockyer said:
“The Grassroots Awards are our way of giving back to the people who drive football here in Surrey. Their dedication to enabling the game is recognised and we celebrate their success, from the leagues to the clubs and the volunteers that support them”.
Neil Poulter, Divisional Director at Thorpe Park Resort added:
“This is the first time we have hosted these awards here at Thorpe Park as Surrey FA’s Official Leisure Partner. We were delighted to celebrate and congratulate the clubs, players, referees, volunteers, county members and staff for their continued commitment to Grassroots football.”
The awards evening marked another strong season for football in Surrey, where participation numbers continue to grow exponentially, in and around four major international tournaments in the past two years.
Surrey FA encourages anyone looking to become involved in grassroots football – from playing to coaching, volunteering or refereeing – to reach out directly, as they look to guide the next generation of deserving award winners!
Award Winners in Full -
New Volunteer of the Year: Tom Still at Copthorne Youth
Young Volunteer of the Year: Emma Clarke at Surrey FA Youth Forum
Lioness Award: Emma Eaton at East Surrey Girls
Grounds Team of the Year: Manorcroft United Junior
League of the Year: Surrey Primary League
Match Official of the Year: Stefan Malczewski
Positive Football Environment: George Pannell at Mini Sports Stars
Coach of the Year Female Pathway: Jonathan Moore Kew Park Rangers
Coach of the Year Male Pathway: Andrew Ciechan at Kew Park Rangers
Coach of the Year Disability Pathway: Michael Harrington at Crystal Palace Powerchair
Club of the Year: Barnes FC
Club Welfare Officer of the Year: Jane Walters at Westside Youth
A selection of photos, courtesy of Simon Roe Photography can be found here.