Volunteers in Merseyside and Staffordshire, UK have been presented with Barclays Community Sports Awards for their work in empowering local communities through sport.
Patrick Forest, 62 years old, won December’s award for enabling older members of his community in the North West to continue playing football.
For 25 years, Patrick has been organising charity matches and tournaments for older players, raising £75,000 for numerous local causes and helping to integrate the young and the old in the process.
He also hosts post-game activities such as raffles and auctions to raise further funds.
Patrick said: “I couldn’t believe it when I found out I had won a Barclays Community Sports Award. All of our players contribute to the success of the charity matches, I just organise them!
“We’re proud that we’ve been able to raise a large amount of money for worthy causes in the area.”
January’s award was presented to Andrew Flower, Chairman of the Spitfire Wheelchair Basketball Club in Staffordshire.
Andrew took part in his first wheelchair basketball session 10 years ago. He stepped up as Chairman in 2010 and negotiated for the team to move into a bigger and more suitable venue.
Andrew made the decision to pull out of the official wheelchair basketball league so he can concentrate on growing membership and improving the team’s weekly training sessions.
He now uses his free time applying for grants used to buy new wheelchairs and equipment, securing advertising to help expand membership, and organising fundraising events to assure the team’s financial future.
Andrew said: “Wheelchair basketball is a fantastic sport, not just for the health benefits it gives the team but for the social element it involves. We all love being part of the team and only hope that our membership continues to grow.”
The Barclays Community Sports Award, now in its second year, is a joint initiative between Barclays Spaces for Sports, the Premier League’s Creating Chances community football programme, and UK sports charity the Football Foundation.
Each monthly winner will receive £1,000 for their organisation and a limited edition trophy, and be entered into the end of season award to win a further £5,000 and a VIP trip to London.
The Barclays Spaces for Sports programme uses sport to help young people develop a range of life skills.