Crawley Old Girls pick up prestigious FA award

Crawley COGS picked up one of the main awards at the FA Women’s Football Awards at Wembley Stadium last week 

Attended by a host of important figures from the women’s game, the evening included a range of awards from Vauxhall England Player of the Year to WSL Player’s Player and Manager of the Year.

The awards also recognised work away from the elite level, with the Contribution to Women’s Football and the #WeCanPlay Grassroots Participation Awards.

ffd post pic 2The #WeCanPlay campaign was developed to help girls realise that football is a sport for them, and to recognise the success of grassroots football development programmes.

Crawley COGS (Crawley Old Girls), is weekly session for ladies aged 40 and over organised by Crawley Town’s Community Foundation.

Carol Bates, who has been an influential figure in the success of the COGS programme, said: “I was incredibly proud to be able to receive the FA’s “We Can Play” Participation Award, with Amy Fazackerley and Marcus Doyle from the club’s Community Foundation, on behalf of the Crawley Old Girls.

“It was an absolute privilege to be in the company of some of the most influential women in English football, including some of the England team who were very interested in the Crawley Old Girls and what we do.

“To be given the award by FA Chairman Greg Clarke shows how far we have come since our first session, with ten ladies, in April 2015. The focus on the “generation that football missed” has led to over 40 women being registered for our Thursday sessions and as it’s been so popular that the Community Foundation have obtained funding to enable a beginners session to be set up, for ladies who want to learn to play football.

“This new session has also been a great success in bringing in more ladies and the knock-on effect, as well as hard work from everyone involved to spread the word, has led to other EFL clubs taking on sessions for “old girls” and a first ever over-30s tournament was held by the EFL Trust last July.

“Not only are the COGS sessions coaching ladies to play, they are also giving them self-confidence, health benefits and increased fitness, which they might not have otherwise had. There are hundreds of thousands of women up and down the country who, I’m sure, would love the chance to learn to play football for fun and we would love to help set up more sessions, as there are so many benefits for ‘old girls!’ It’s great fun and size, shape, ability and age are no barrier, so it’s a win, win situation.”

As well as collecting their trophy at Wembley, the COGS will receive a visit from an England women’s international, as well as a session from a member of the England coaching set-up.

Well done ladies!


First Women’s Walking Football Competition Honours Pioneers

The very first women’s national walking football tournament is set to take place in Preston, Lancashire on Sunday 2nd July 2017 to commemorate 100 years of the Dick, Kerr Ladies.

In the history of women’s football, The Dick, Kerr Ladies are the most successful team in the world. They were formed at the Dick, Kerr & Co Ltd munitions factory in Preston, Lancashire during the First World War, these very ordinary factory girls from Preston quite literally took the country by storm.

On Christmas Day 1917, 10,000 spectators came to Deepdale, the home of Preston North End Football Club, to witness the start of the most phenomenal success story in the history of women’s sport. Dick, Kerr Ladies notched up the first of many famous victories whilst raising £600 for wounded soldiers.

On Boxing Day 1920, 53,000 spectators packed into Goodison Park, Everton, to see the Dick, Kerr Ladies take on St Helens Ladies, with another 14,000 people locked out and unable to gain admission to the ground. Another victory was recorded for the Dick, Kerr team and an incredible amount of £3,115 was raised for charity.

During the War the Government appointed women welfare supervisors and sent them into the factories to oversee the physical well-being of the factory girls and encourage the development of sporting activities. Among those activities was football, and football became the official sport of the munitions girls. Almost every factory across the United Kingdom involved in war work, had a ladies football team.

Incredibly, in 1921 the FA banned womens football, setting back the development of the womens game for decades. However, the Dick, Kerr ladies continued to play football around the world until 1965 leaving behind a glittering legacy.

For more on the story of the Dick, Kerr Ladies visit

Tournament Details

The first national women’s walking football competition will be held in Preston on 2nd July 2017 to commemorate 100 years of the Dick, Kerr Ladies.

  • Teams of 6-A-Side Women (squad of up to 9 women players with flexi-substitutions)
  • Two age groups – Over 40’s and Over 50’s
  • Over 50’s Teams must consist of over 50’s Women (with two women players under 50 permitted, but with only one under 50 on the pitch at any time)
  • Over 40’s Teams must consist of over 40’s Women (with two women players under 40 permitted, but with only one under 40 on the pitch at any time)
  • National Tournament Official Rules and more information at
  • Entry fee £30 per team – plus admin fee of £2.45 if booking online at
  • tournament-tickets-28311050113
    Closing date for entries 30th April 2017.

For further information contact [email protected]

EFL Trust take action for #iwillWeek

The EFL Trust and its network of 72 member club trusts have joined hundreds of organisations to support #iwillWeek, a UK wide celebration highlighting the impact young people are making through social action.


THE joy of being active and all the benefits it can bring is certainly not exclusive to the young. Plymouth Argyle Community Trust run a number of programmes that cater for people of all ages and abilities, helping their community to be active, be healthy and be happy.

The Extra Time sessions run every Monday with a dedicated group of Pilgrims aged over 55 who join us at Home Park for an afternoon of Kurling in the Tribute Lounge, which overlooks the hallowed pitch at PL2.

Roger Smith is 77 years-old and attends Extra Time with his wife Heather, enjoying the social side of gentle competition with their peers and using his beloved football club as a motivation to stay active.

“I’m a lifelong Argyle fan and I’ve enjoyed the pleasure of helping out on match-days at Home Park,” said Roger. “I played amateur football as a younger man and also managed teams in local leagues, so being active has been part of my life.

“My wife loves the Extra Time sessions as well and we both enjoy an afternoon here at the club. I’ve had a heart bypass operation in the past and that forces you to learn new things, explore different exercises and I’ve even invested in an exercise bike.

“It’s just nice to have a day out, spend time with people and also some friendly competition. It’s particularly special for me to attend a healthy programme at my hometown football club.”

For more information on Extra Time, please contact our health and disability officer Josh Grant on [email protected] or call 01752 562561 ext.4


 EFL Trust and Wembley National Stadium Trust announce Every Player Counts project

Disability football in England has received a major boost following the announcement of Every Player Counts, a new £1.1m project from the EFL Trust that aims to attract almost 10,000 new participants into the sport. Read more

Fulham FC’s FanActiv Wins at Global Sport Award

Fulham FC Foundation’s innovative fan’s health programme, fanActive, has won  international recognition as winners of the Beyond Sport ‘Best New Innovation’ Award.

Last week Fulham FC Foundation and London United – the charitable arms of London’s professional football clubs – were recognised before an audience of global sport industry delegates for the programme which has had a massive impact on men’s health.

fanAcitv, is a men’s health programme that converts existing rivalries between football fans into healthy competition to get men moving more,. The programme was launched December 2015, in partnership with the NHS, Brentford Football Club Community Sports Trust and Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.

fanActiv is the ultimate clash of London football clubs as fans compete for bragging rights in a series of physical activity challenges, and through use of a digital platform encourage their rivals to keep up. Turning the inherent rivalry between football fans into healthy competition, the programme gets London males aged 35+ moving more through weekly physical activities, fan challenges in the community and health messaging at participating clubs’ grounds.

Backed by wearables giant Fitbit UK, the programme challenges fans to ‘walk, run, cycle their way to the top of the league table’. The pilot, delivered by Fulham FC Foundation, Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, and Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, produced life-changing results for participants. Among them were 244 kg total weight loss, an average of 16 hours per week reduction in sedentary behaviours, and a total BMI loss of 72.5 points.

Footballers Say Yes to NCS

Professional footballers from the EFL have pledged their support for the National Citizen Service (NCS) by becoming ambassadors for the teenage personal and social development programme.The popular NCS programme is delivered by EFL clubs across the country, helping young people develop important skills whilst making an impact in their local communities. Sheffield Wednesday’s Liam Palmer and former Sky Bet Championship star George Friend have joined a host of footballers who have signed up to support the programme.

The National Citizen Service (NCS) is the country’s flagship youth programme, open to 16 and 17 year-olds across England and Northern Ireland with the aim to create a more cohesive, responsible and engaged society. It is a unique two or three week full-time programme focused around fun and discovery, and includes 30 hours committed to a community project that benefits both young people and society.EFL leading scorer and Scunthorpe United winger Josh Morris met NCS graduates who completed the programme at the Iron’s Glanford Park home. The former England U20 international was quizzed by the Scunthorpe United’s Community Trust’s graduates about his pathway into football, his career so far and his fantastic start to life at Scunthorpe United. The roles were then switched and Josh had his own questions lined up for the graduates, finding out what they have learnt and gained from enrolling as an NCS student.To say “yes” to NCS or to find out more visit

Speaking proudly about his role as Scunthorpe United’s NCS Ambassador, Josh said: “I’m delighted and proud to be chosen as NCS Ambassador. NCS is brilliant. It gives young people the chance to experience a variety of challenges while building new friendships and benefitting the local community. I’m looking forward to getting involved in NCS and meeting the young people on the programme.”

Scunthorpe United’s NCS graduate Ryan Jones said: “NCS has opened up various options that I wasn’t aware of before joining the programme. We have participated in a whole range of different activities and I would encourage any 15-17 year old to consider saying yes to NCS.

“Josh is a brilliant figure to have as Scunthorpe United’s NCS Ambassador. We all asked Josh a few questions about his career and he took a keen interest in how NCS has played a positive part in our lives.”

The EFL’s Trust Programme Manager Dominik Stingas-Paczko added: “The support we get from football clubs and players is fantastic. Our relationship with football clubs allows us to reach a larger audience.

“It’s always great when you see players interacting with young people on the programme. It would be great in years to come to see a professional football player who is an NCS graduate.”

Using the power of football, NCS EFL Trust are in a unique position to publicise the work that NCS are doing during the programme and after. Last year, the social media campaign #NCSMatchDay reached over one million people. The EFL Trust have been delivering the NCS programme since its pilot year in 2011 and now have a network of over 20,000 graduates.

The NCS programme offers a unique opportunity for 16-17 year olds and costs just £50. The programme takes place three times a year in the spring, summer and autumn holidays and 275,000 young people have participated in the programme since it began in 2011. To sign up today or for more information, please visit

2016 NCS player ambassadors:

Barnsley – Marc Roberts
Doncaster Rovers – Niall Mason and Joe Pugh
Rotherham United – Lee Frecklington
Sheffield United – George Long
Sheffield Wednesday – Liam Palmer
Grimsby Town – Shaun Pearson
Scunthorpe United – Josh Morris
Hartlepool United – Padraig Amond
Middlesbrough – George Friend
Accrington Stanley – Nathan Webb
Blackpool – Clark Robertson
Blackburn Rovers – Hope Akpan
Preston North End – Chris Maxwell
Fleetwood Town – David Ball
Burnley – Sam Vokes
Carlisle United – Michael Raynes
Shrewsbury Town – Gary Deegan
Portsmouth – Jack Whatmough

Community Football Degree Led to Full-time Role at Championship Club

Former electrical engineer Mark Reynolds, 34, graduated from the Foundation Degree in Community Football Coaching and Development in 2016. He is now a Community Coach at Bristol City FC, and also the Club’s Foundation Degree Mentor.

What is your job?

I am a Community Coach at Bristol City FC, delivering sports sessions across Bristol which help enhance the reputation of the club in the community. I am also the Club’s Foundation Degree Mentor. With my experience of the course I can hopefully guide other students successfully through the course.

Why did you want to do the Foundation Degree?

Before I started the course, I was an electrical engineer for Rolls Royce. I wanted a complete change and hoped that the course would help me start a career in the football industry. I’d played football for many years and thought I would enjoy helping others develop their ability and confidence through coaching.

Did the course help you get your current job?

Absolutely. The placement I had at the football club as part of the course gave me the opportunity to put the content of the course into practice and also impress the people who would eventually employ me. I have been a fan of the football club since I was young so it’s great to now work here.

Tell us about the placements

I did a placement on a Walking Football programme, which is aimed at the over 50s. It was really important to understand a community project as part of the course and this gave me great insight into community needs rather than just youth football coaching.

What were the most valuable aspects of the course?

I would say being able to use lecture content in a practical environment; it’s great to see the theory work in practice. I learned so much. Although I had some football knowledge, what I learnt about the methodology of coaching was huge. It has made me much more adaptable and understanding of player needs.

How was going back to University as a mature student?

Being a mature student was interesting – I had to learn to learn again! I really enjoyed it though and adding theoretical knowledge to life experience has been invaluable. Learning online was great, and I found it very beneficial to be able to go over lecture content to check over detail. The teachers were fantastic and their knowledge of coaching is superb as are the facilities at USW Sport Park.

What are your plans now?

I am very open minded about my future, but it certainly lies within the football industry. I think the qualification helps to open doors that can lead to many different paths.

Read more here.

Doncaster Rovers Duo Pay Visit to College

Doncaster Rovers first team players Andy Butler and Matty Blair paid a visit to Club Doncaster Sports College on Monday to inspire the younger generation.

The pair spent the afternoon hosting a Q&A session, giving advice to the sports students who are working hard to pave a career path in the industry.


The players were quick to highlight how significant external motivation can be, especially when it comes from a professional footballer.

Matty Blair said, “If us coming in today can inspire just one kid to go and make it big, we’ve done our job.”

He added, “Everyone has someone they strive to be like. I’m not saying I’m everyone’s role model but it’s great for them to see us in the flesh, that if you work hard you can be a success – no matter what industry you want to go and work in.”

Principal of the college, Adi Turnpenny also said, “Having the players give motivational talks to the students is great as they are taking advice from their role models about careers in sport. The players do a great job of inspiring our students to work hard in class to achieve their goals.”

Teens make a difference in Hull and East Riding

It’s not just teenagers that have benefited from NCS in Hull and East Riding this summer!

The group began working with Dove House Hospice, taking on the NCS Accumulator challenge. The challenge itself was to start with £50 and use this to support fundraising and raise awareness. The group exceeded all expectations, raising £1,600 through various fundraising activities ranging from a door to door car washing service, a Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood inspired Great British Bake Off Challenge, and an open mic evening to celebrate local musical talent in Hull.


Dan Clipson of Dove Hospice has been blown away by the support from young people on NCS programmes, and says: This summer was a great experience for both the NCS teams and for us here at Dove House Hospice. The Accumulator Challenge was well received by all of the groups and allowed young people to really develop their skills that they’d learnt earlier in the programme.

We’re excited to see how our growing relationship develops with the NCS programme, allowing the Accumulator Challenge to become a real staple of hospice care awareness and fundraising from a younger generation”.

Many young people have now expressed an interest in continuing their support of the hospice through taking part in upcoming events such as the Colour Run – a 5k fun run leaving you awash with a rainbow of colours.

As well as supporting Dove House Hospice, the group undertook a project to support the HU5 area of Hull. After hearing on Radio Humberside that local people weren’t happy with the state of their streets, the young people took it upon themselves to clean them and filled over 40 bags of rubbish on their first day. Word spread of what they were doing, and Radio Humberside invited them along to speak live on radio with DJ Dave Burns about their social action project.

Whilst benefiting the community, the impact NCS has had on these youngsters has been significant; they have developed life skills, learnt about the local community, and most importantly, developed a sense of achievement with the difference that they have made.

Andreea Voinea, a volunteer aged 16 from Hull said: “This has been the most incredible summer. I had so much fun, tried something new every day and met new people who I can’t wait to meet up with again.’’

Andreea continued: “One of my highlights was creating our social action project to support Dove Hospice and help clean the streets of HU5. It was amazing to be able to see the project through and realise the huge difference we can make if we put our minds to it – the sense of achievement at the end raising over £1,600 for Dove Hospice, and the amount of rubbish we collected was something I’d never experienced before and it really bonded the group. I’d definitely encourage other young people to give it a go.”

Social action projects are taking place across the country with the NCS programme and this is just one of many examples of how young people are making a positive difference in their community.