Local ‘Footie Dads’ will receive a public pat on the back during November as the Essex County FA invite nominations for their monthly #CelebrateEssex volunteer competition on Twitter which helps recognise some of grassroots football’s unsung heroes.
#CelebrateEssex showcases personal stories from local legends, increasing their visibility as role models to engage new members and inspire them to join the grassroots community as volunteers. Footie Dad nominations close on Friday 8th November, when submissions will be assessed to decide who’ll feature in a Twitter poll to identify the latest hero.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of grassroots football, putting in countless hours of their time so others can enjoy playing football. The game needs more helpers, but it also needs to retain and recognise those already involved. Through this monthly Twitter competition, #CelebrateEssex aims to do just that, promoting ten different roles throughout the year.
November is the month of the ‘Footie Dad’ category. A Footie Dad could be due a special mention for the support they offer their son or daughter before, during or after a game. They could help to make sure their ‘star player’ gets to training safely, enjoys participating in matches and is encouraged to do their best, providing encouragement afterwards… win, lose or draw.
The category has been scheduled to coincide with International Men’s Day, and future months will feature: December: Football Family, January: Media Manager, February: Coach (Youth and Adult), March: Footie Mum, April: Treasurer, May: Secretary, June: Chairperson.
Last year’s winner was Jason Plunkett from South Ockendon. He said: “Just let them play and enjoy the game. Ask them the questions, don't tell them the answers. Support them and just be there for them. You need to tell them they’ll make mistakes and they’ll be rejected, but football is all about opinions and it's about them enjoying and playing the game, wherever it may be.”
#CelebrateEssex, now in its second season, captured the imagination of the community during 2018/19, resulting in media coverage plus thousands of Twitter interactions. Twelve winners were named, with presentations at the County FA's annual Awards Evening.
104 nominations were made, with 8,703 votes cast. All nominees were publicly thanked. Then, in June, #CelebrateEssex received a special commendation in the ‘Digital Engagement’ category of the County FA Recognition Awards staged by The FA.
Stage One: Make Your Nomination on Twitter
If you know a Footie Dad who you think should receive some special thanks, anyone can make a nomination by tweeting (by 8th November):
“I nominate [Insert Name or Twitter Username] from [Insert Club/Team or Twitter Username] as @EssexCountyFA #CelebrateEssex Footie Dad because…”
State why your nominee should be the winner and be as descriptive as you can in 280 characters! It’s important to use the #CelebrateEssex hashtag to ensure your entry is registered.
Stage Two: Nominations Reviewed
Once the window closes, all the nominations received will be collated and a panel will decide which individuals will be progressed to the Twitter poll/vote...
Stage Three: Let Voting Commence!
A Twitter poll/vote will be available at @EssexCountyFA for seven days, featuring profiles of the nominees so voters can make an informed decision on who to vote for.
Stage Four: And Our Winner Is…
The winner of the poll will be contacted to be that month’s ‘Volunteer of the Month’, who’ll receive a prize, publicity and an invitation to the Essex County FA’s 2020 Awards Evening.
Follow the #CelebrateEssex hashtag on Twitter to keep track of the competition! To find out more about volunteering in grassroots Essex football, click on the 'Volunteers' tab above, follow @EssexCountyFA on Twitter and search for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook.
#CelebrateEssex Terms and Conditions
* prizes must relate to the category the individual has won
* previous category winners are ineligible for 2019/20 nomination
* irregular voting patterns could result in the suspension of a category
Celebrating International Men’s Day in Essex
Worldwide Positive Male Values Shared
On Tuesday 19th November, International Men’s Day celebrates the positive values men bring to the world, their families and their communities. It highlights positive role models and raises awareness of men’s well-being.
The month of November is important for men because it gathers several important events including Movember, the month which focuses on raising money for men’s health. International Men’s Day encourages men to teach the boys in their lives the values, character and responsibilities of being a man. Find out more at www.internationalmensday.com.