Andy Thorp, founder of Street Soccer, has won the first ever Barclays Community Sports Award to honour his outstanding contribution to grassroots sport in the UK.
The Manchester based initiative, founded in 2005, enables homeless individuals to rehabilitate themselves through football with the support of a 30-strong volunteer base.
With Andy’s help Street Soccer has grown from a Salford-based weekly football training session to a full rehabilitation scheme providing FA Level 1 coaching qualifications to individuals who are homeless, in supported housing or on probation.
An FA Level 3 qualified coach Andy currently combines his work in Street Soccer with coaching Salford College in the English Colleges League, tapping into his previous experiences of coaching Leigh RMI, Trafford FC and Rochdale AFC U16s. Andy also has experience of working in the community having previously served with Manchester City FIC, Football Focus and Ambassadors in Sport.
Winner Andy Thorp commented: “I am honoured to receive the Barclays Community Sports Award. We set up Street Soccer as a place for people to meet, make friends and play sport, but also where they can gain coaching qualifications which will ultimately make them more employable. The prize money will ensure more individuals than ever are able to work towards an FA Level 1 coaching qualification.”
Gareth Southgate, who is heading up the judging panel for the award, said: “We are delighted to recognise Andy’s amazing contribution to grassroots sport in the Manchester area. Along with his team he works 50 weeks of the year providing support for the homeless, which shows the relentless dedication he has to Street Soccer.
“With centres in Stockport, Bolton, Wigan and Leigh, and plans to expand further, this is certainly testament to the outstanding contribution from Andy and his team.”
The Barclays Community Sports Award recognises the outstanding contribution to grassroots sports by individuals and groups across the UK. Presented monthly to complement the Barclays Player and Manager of the Month Awards, the accolade is being delivered in a partnership between Barclays Spaces for Sports, the Premier League’s Creating Chances programme and the Football Foundation.
Each monthly winner will receive £1,000 for their group or organisation, a limited edition trophy and will be entered into the end of season award to win a further £5,000, all donated by Barclays Spaces for Sports. The end of season award winner will also receive a VIP trip to London to receive their award from Gareth Southgate.
To nominate a person, group or organisation for the Barclays Community Sports Award of the Month simply visit: