If you know someone in grassroots Essex football who’s gone the extra mile for the sake of sportsmanship during October they could win a special Fair Play Award through a new monthly Facebook voting format.
We're selecting a winner for every calendar month and anyone can be nominated for the competition, which will eventually culminate in an open Facebook vote between two final nominees. Submissions for October are currently being collected up until Tuesday 20th November and a voucher is on offer for the ultimate winner.
The goal is to promote the best elements of the game and encourage them in all formats of youth and adult football. Examples of fair play could be a coach saying well done for an opposing goalkeeper’s good save, congratulating an opposition goal, parents supporting or praising both sides or following-up on the welfare of an injured player to see how they are.
September’s winner was Daniel Garfinkle from Epping Town. When his team were 3-0 up and on the attack, the opposition goalkeeper made a save but collided with the goalpost and went down injured. Daniel had an open goal to aim at but the striker stopped the ball, turned around and kicked it out of play for a throw-in so the ‘keeper could receive treatment.
Helen Hever, Essex County FA Designated Safeguarding Officer, said: “The game can't exist without respect between players, coaches, referees, fans, leagues and everybody in football. Everyone loves football because of the passion and the competitive edge, but it’s important that we’re able to play the game in the right way. The spirit of fair play is crucial to that.”
“We’re looking to celebrate any display of sportsmanship across all the formats of the game. Fair play exists all over grassroots, like shaking hands or three cheers at the end of a match, but we’re seeking nominations that go that bit further. We’re looking for elements like team spirit - both in the team you play for and the opposition - respect, friendship and excellence.”
Nominations are open until Tuesday 20th November to recognise fair play which took place in October. To put someone forward, comment on our Facebook post (search for ‘EssexFootball’) with these details: yours and the nominee’s name, club/team (and age group where applicable), a description of why your nominee should win. Good luck!