Brilliant adult and youth coaches are being recognised in the latest category of the monthly Essex County FA #CelebrateEssex volunteer awards, and nominations can be made on Twitter to say thank you to the invaluable key figures who make the local game tick.
#CelebrateEssex recognition shines a light on some of local football’s unsung heroes. It showcases personal stories from Essex legends, increasing their visibility as role models to engage new members and inspiring newcomers to join the grassroots community as volunteers. Nominations are required via the @EssexCountyFA account by Friday 12th February.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of grassroots football, putting in countless hours of their time so others can enjoy playing the game. Football needs more helpers, but it also needs to retain and recognise those already involved. Through this monthly Twitter activity, #CelebrateEssex aims to do just that, promoting ten different roles throughout the year.
February is the month of the two ‘Coach’ categories - Adult and Youth. Future months will feature these categories: March: Footie Mum, April: Treasurer, May: Secretary, June: Chairperson. Excellent coaches take ownership of the development of their players, who can experience a variety of opportunities to learn the game, including rotating positions and fair playing time.
They provide an ideal, positive environment, using age-appropriate language. Successful coaches allow their players to have the freedom to play and express themselves, supporting and encouraging them to develop independently, too. Youth coaches also have the added quality of communicating effectively with players’ parents.
Last year’s winners were Stuart Keen of Tigers JFC and Ashley Ward from White Roding Veterans FC. Stuart reacted: “It's great seeing the smiles on the players’ faces before, during and after the sessions finish. That, to me, is priceless. Knowing someone has turned-up at your session really shy and unsure of herself and, by the end of that first session, she can't wait for next week.”
Ashley also said: “My advice is to create a team and an atmosphere which challenges the players, the opposition and yourself. Only when you are challenged can you learn, and only when you learn can you then achieve something you could not before. I don’t have all the answers, so I seek advice, read books, try new things - even if they are old formations - and ask for support.”
Stage One: Make Your Nomination on Twitter
If you know a Coach who you think should receive some special thanks, anyone can make a nomination by tweeting (by 12th February):
“I nominate [Insert Name or Twitter Username] from [Insert Club/Team or Twitter Username] as @EssexCountyFA #CelebrateEssex Coach 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 polls/votes (one for adult and one for youth).
Stage Three: Let Voting Commence!
Twitter polls/votes 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 winners of the polls will be contacted to be that month’s ‘Volunteers of the Month’!
Follow the #CelebrateEssex hashtag on Twitter to keep track of the nominations! To find out more about volunteering in grassroots Essex football, browse the 'Volunteers' menu above, follow @EssexCountyFA on Twitter and search for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook.
#CelebrateEssex Terms and Conditions
* previous category winners are ineligible for 2020/21 voting
* irregular voting patterns could result in the suspension of a category
* Twitter’s interpretation of the vote winner, as viewed by @EssexCountyFA, is final