ONE of Hucknall’s most respected sporting organisations is celebrating after landing a grant in recognition of their services to football.
It is a major coup for Hucknall Sports Youth Football Club to receive a Grow The Game grant of £5,000 from the Football Foundation.
Grow The Game is a popular scheme that provides funding for projects to increase participation in football by both players and volunteers.
The assessment process is fiercely competitive, so Sports are jubilant to have been selected.
The grant is linked to their decision to help nurture young talent by entering a team in a new Nottinghamshire league for under-21s.
The FA has identified the 16-to-21 age group as an area of major concern because it is hit by a significant decline in the number of players.
Sports chairman Alan Spray said: “We have a proud history of producing young players in the local game, so we are honoured to receive the Grow The Game grant.
“The funds will ensure that we can maintain our outstanding reputation delivering quality coaching and facilities to all our members over the next few seasons.
“We would also like to thank Jody Caudwell and Ricky Stevenson, of Notts FA, and all of our sponsors for their continued support of the club.”
Hucknall Sports, one of the most established names in youth football across the county, were founded in 1977.
For many years, they were based at the Wigwam Playing Field in Hucknall but have temporarily moved to the Goosedale sports complex in Bestwood Village. They run several teams at various age-groups.
“We have grown significantly over the past ten years and continue to contribute to the youth of Hucknall,” said Spray.
“We have one of the best soccer schools around and recently held an in-house course on first aid and safeguarding children.
“For the past 12 years, our loyal band of helpers have also hosted one of the largest junior tournaments, with more than 800 players taking part.”
The Football Foundation is the UK’s largest sports charity. Funded by the Premier League, the FA and the government, via Sport England, it directs £30 million every year into grassroots sport.
Chief executive Paul Thorogood said: “We warmly congratulate Hucknall Sports and Notts FA for their hard work and dedication in securing this award.
“Our Grow The Game scheme helps fulfil one of our core objectives, which is getting more people playing more football.”