Frinton & Walton YFC Fixture Secretary Lisa Ursell has paid tribute to the “fantastic team” of volunteers who keep the club going after she became the figurehead winner of the #CelebrateEssex ‘Footie Mum’ category.
#CelebrateEssex, organised through our Twitter account @EssexCountyFA, promotes inspirational personal examples and stories, encouraging new faces to get involved and grow the grassroots community. Once nominations closed in March, a select group were chosen for a Twitter poll to identify the monthly winner to receive a prize and extra public plaudits. Lisa won the vote in front of three other strong challengers.
At present Lisa is the club’s Fixture Secretary, which involves booking matches, and she also helps out with the Under 16s where her son has played for the last six years. She does the admin for the team, making sure the players know where the games are and the times of training, and she ensures they have enough players to play each match. Lisa’s responsibilities also extend to helping run their clubhouse at Frinton Park.
One of Lisa’s daughters is enjoying her first season playing for the club’s Under 9s Girls and she additionally tries to organise a rota for their clubhouse to be looked after by volunteers each Sunday. “I felt very proud making the final four… so winning was amazing! It’s great for our club to get the recognition it deserves,” she explained of her award. “I really enjoy it.”
“I’m not going to lie - sometimes it can be hard, but it really is a great club to be a part of. Someone is always on-hand to answer a question or offer support. I’m part of a fantastic team full of people who all give up so much time to make the club what it is. We are currently all working together to organise this year’s Presentation Day. We have a committee of eleven people and 20 managers. Some teams have coaches and parent helpers, too.”
Lisa first got involved with the club in 2015 when her son’s manager left. She offered to help out and ended up taking on the role of the club’s Social Secretary, organising Christmas parties and events for all of their teams like the Christmas Fayre, the quiz night and the club’s presentation day. “We have a group of 20 mums and nans who help out with the clubhouse,” Lisa continued. “Putting the rota together can be quite a challenge.”
“Sometimes, as a lot of our volunteers have children in multiple teams, I try and make sure people don’t miss their own children’s matches. Our Club Chairman, Kim Witmore, has been a massive help with the clubhouse and she is the one making sure it’s fully stocked. She’s one of the first to help in there when our boys have home games. We keep the clubhouse clean and tidy, disposing of rubbish and things like that.”
Lisa opted to reinvest her prize back into the club, and picked some Respect signage as her reward which will promote good practice and excellent behaviour at home matches. She concluded: “Keeping the clubhouse going really is a massive team effort and we couldn’t do it without the support of our dedicated volunteers.”
Find out more about the #CelebrateEssex Competition, or how to volunteer in grassroots Essex football in the 'Volunteers' menu above. April is the month of the ‘Supporter’ on Twitter @EssexCountyFA and information is also shared on Facebook by searching for ‘EssexFootball’.