Nominations for local grassroots heroes now open
The awards recognise and celebrate grassroots volunteers across Northern Ireland who make a real difference to their communities.
McDonald’s is the longest standing supporter of grassroots football in Northern Ireland and continues to champion those who enable children and young adults to play and enjoy football regardless of gender or disability.
McDonald’s Northern Ireland Ambassador Pat Jennings is calling on local communities to nominate those grassroots heroes who have made a real impact. “McDonald’s has been playing an active role in supporting grassroots football for fifteen consecutive years,” he said.
“Being involved in the McDonald’s Community Awards once again has allowed me to see the continued efforts of thousands of unsung heroes that go into making sure young players of all ages, genders and abilities reach their potential.”
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The former Arsenal, Tottenham and Northern Ireland keeper said, “Anyone can be nominated for an award; from coaches and caretakers to club secretaries and fund raisers, anyone whose selflessness and commitment allows children to enjoy grassroots football in a safe, friendly and welcoming environment and without discrimination.
“It’s been great to meet with last year’s Disability Club of the Year Award winners Lisburn2gether Special Olympics FC who are doing incredible work in providing a fun space for their grassroots footballers.”
The awards programme is in its seventh year and honours grassroots clubs and the volunteers who give up countless hours to ensure that football takes place every week throughout Northern Ireland.
The awards have six categories, including The Respect Award, Volunteer of the Year, Coach of the Year and The People’s Award, which celebrates an individual’s outstanding contribution to grassroots football.
Nominees will be honoured at regional level before being put forward to a national judging panel featuring legends of the game, including Pat Jennings, and members of the Irish Football Association. The selected national winners will go on to receive their awards at a national ceremony held at The Guildhall in Derry-Londonderry.
Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill also supports the awards. He said, “2017 is a huge opportunity for football in Northern Ireland to build on our qualification and participation in the 2016 European Championships.
“It is great that the hard work and dedication of so many grassroots football volunteers is being recognised and we should continue to support those who dedicate their time to grassroots football – from helping to develop young talent to ensuring safety and best practice in clubs.
“The McDonald’s Irish FA Community Awards provide an excellent opportunity to nominate our grassroots footballing heroes who contribute so much time, effort and passion to the game. Nominations for McDonald’s Irish FA Community Awards are now open.”
To vote for a football club or volunteer go to www.mcdonalds.co.uk/awards
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