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 right across Northern Ireland.
“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.
Having been introduced last year, regional awards evenings - with winners selected in categories across a regional divide before being placed on the shortlist for the overall awards - will be repeated again this year. Another new and exciting category, the People’s Award, which allowed members of the public to decide the winner by a public vote, will also be implemented in 2013.
The 2012 Female Coach of the Year Hannah Majury highlights just what it meant to receive her award;
“It was really great to be recognised for doing something that you love doing. No coach does it for the awards, they do it for the children and to make sure they enjoy it and progress, but it’s nice to know that somebody values what you’re doing. I’d like to encourage everyone involved in grassroots football to make sure they are nominated for the 2013 awards because it really is a great confidence boost and to share the stage with the legends of the game was something very special.”
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.
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