Lincolnshire Sees Two National Grassroots Football Award Winners
Horncastle Town FC U15 Girls and Hannah Marriage Collected Awards At Wembley Stadium
Lincolnshire has seen two winners at the 2023 National Grassroots Football Awards, hosted by England Football, at the FA Community Shield Final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.
Hannah marriage - new volunteer of the year
Hannah Marriage has been recognised for her outstanding contribution and awarded the New Volunteer Of The Year award. Everyone who encounters Hannah is left in no doubt. Here is a force of nature.
A super administrator on the one hand, and a cheerful presence on the other, Hannah has proved herself a dynamic force in walking football. Already a Level 1 coach, Hannah’s
new role as Ability Counts Welfare Officer is to develop safeguarding in the Lincolnshire league. This means rewriting policies and liaising with clubs to ensure the correct processes are in place. Hannah also takes the lead on all grant applications and is always looking for ways to engage with the community and improve access to football for all.
As part of the Welfare Officer role she has adopted walking football’s women’s division and is working with The FA to see how the league can be made more accessible to all women playing walking football. At the same time, Hannah is working with a disability club to improve access to football. She helped the club secure grants for those with mental health difficulties, all while gathering research to write a paper on the mental health benefits of walking football.
Hannah is always cheerful, and makes everyone smile. She is enthusiastic and always there to help when people need her, offering her time and energy alongside working full time and volunteering elsewhere. Taking the lead in the walking football league, Hannah is top of the tree as New Volunteer of the Year. Well done Hannah!
HORNCASTLE TOWN FC U15 GIRLS - THE LIONESS AWARD
Horncastle Town FC U15 Girls have been awarded the Lioness Award - being recognised for following up on the Lionesses legacy. Putting the all-round development of female players at the heart of everything it does is more than words for Horncastle Town FC. The club backs its approach with positive actions.Not only are these actions making a real difference for the club’s own players, they are doing so right across the girls’ and women’s game.
While Horncastle Town’s U15 girls’ team has dominated in the league, every girl has also been given wonderful opportunities to develop. Through their amazing coaches, Lorna and Jamie and secretary Emma, girls have taken refereeing courses, joined player forums, helped FA tutors in CPD workshops, and taken Lincolnshire FA’s in-house female leadership course. The club’s Weetabix Wildcats sessions are coached entirely by their U15 girls, who will also go on to complete the EE Playmaker by England Football course.
Perhaps the biggest impact Horncastle Town has had is changing the colour of all its girls’ teams shorts to black as a result of their menstrual cycles. This has been a real milestone as it has inspired other girls’ and women’s teams to take a similar step – as reported by BBC News and BBC Breakfast TV. Recognising that football is as much about the development of young women’s vital life skills as it is about playing, Horncastle Town’s vision is second to none. Maximising on the legacy of the Lionesses by giving girls absolutely every opportunity possible makes Horncastle Town a worthy winner. Well done all!
All the volunteers, both those highlighted here and the ones who haven't, are inspiring, exceptional, extraordinary – and fully deserving of their place in the spotlight.
Taking place at the home of England Football, Wembley Stadium, the glittering awards ceremony was illuminated by England legends John Barnes, Rachel Yankey, Sue Smith, Martin Keown and World Cup Winner Sir Geoff Hurst. Not to mention the Manager of our England Men’s team Gareth Southgate – who all presented the 12 awards.
To thank each of the winners, a whole host of money-can’t-buy experiences saw them sharing the Wembley big-game stage on an amazing, unforgettable day which saw Arsenal take victory over Manchester City to claim the 2023 FA Community Shield.
Hannah Marriage was given an incredible opportunity to present the FA Community Shield Trophy to Arsenal captain, Martin Ødegaard, on the prestigious Wembley balcony.
England Football and Lincolnshire FA would like to thank you for all your nominations. Every volunteer, we celebrate. Every nominee, we applaud. Most of all, every winner, we congratulate. You are the beating heart of football both in Lincolnshire and in England, and we salute and celebrate you all.
Lincolnshire FA CEO, Nick Hanson, said:"All of us at Lincolnshire FA would like to send our congratulations to both Hannah Marriage and Horncastle Town U15 Girls for their awards. It's a fantastic honour to have two national award winners in the County and is a fantastic example of how inspirational and amazing the grassroots football community is in Lincolnshire - from the players, coaches, referees, and volunteers. We are incredibly proud of everyone associated with football in Lincolnshire and we're thrilled that the people who make the game happen in the County are being recognised nationally."
Lincolnshire FA will unveil their local grassroots award winners later in the year.
To be one of the first to receive the latest grassroots football news from Lincolnshire, and to receive exclusive offers and discounts from Lincolnshire FA partners – click here