Greenisland FC receives pandemic-delayed UEFA Grassroots Award
Greenisland Football Club have received a special certificate from UEFA after a presentation which had been delayed due to the pandemic.
Greenisland FC were named as winners in UEFA’s annual Grassroots Awards back in November.
However, they have only just received their certificate via the Irish FA Foundation after the spread of Covid-19 disrupted presentations throughout Europe.
Greenisland FC won a bronze award in the ‘Best Grassroots Club’ section.
The club stated: “We are honoured and privileged to officially receive the UEFA Grassroots Club of the Year (bronze) award from the Irish Football Association.”
More than 50 countries nominated their best volunteers and community clubs for the UEFA Grassroots Awards 2020.
The club’s members mainly come from Greenisland and the Carrickfergus and Newtownabbey areas. Their clubhouse and 3G pitch, which was opened in 2019 with support from Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and Sport NI, act as a community hub.
Alumni include current Northern Ireland internationals Jonny and Corry Evans, Craig Cathcart and Michael Smith, and BT, which sponsors the Northern Ireland senior men’s team, featured the former players and the club in a promotional video last year.
Greenisland offer senior and junior football and have around 400 players and 100 volunteers, providing playing opportunities for male, female and disability groups. They run programmes for children from the age of five upwards.
Their youth teams take part in various leagues, while their seniors play in the Northern Amateur League, and in 2019 they launched Greenisland Bears FC for boys and girls aged 7 to 12 with a learning and/or physical disability.
UEFA Grassroots Awards are presented annually in recognition of exceptional work in grassroots football.
A spokesperson for European football’s governing body said: “Football is built on the grassroots, which are kept alive by thousands of volunteers, projects and clubs across Europe. Our awards are designed to recognise, celebrate and promote this inspirational work.”
Greenisland also received 100 footballs from UEFA to support their grassroots activities.
Speaking at the time of the award announcement Independent Councillor Bobby Hadden, who is a founder member and club trustee, said: “I am absolutely delighted at the award for the club. It is recognition of the hard work that goes into the community.”
Click here to read: New stand at Greenisland Football Club
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