Award for football association – Reading Today Online

Pictured at the Awards are Sue Hough MBE, John Horsley BBFA director, BBFA staff Hans Cook, Rod Noble, Liz Verrall, Alastair Kay, Richard Brant, Kelly Sutton and Teddy Sheringham. Credit: Getty Images / Berks & Bucks FA.

The Berks & Bucks Football Association has collected the Partnership Award at the 2023 County Football Association Recognition Awards for its charity partnership with Berkshire-based national charity Sport in Mind.

The awards, which were hosted at Wembley Stadium recognise, and endorse, the best projects, products and services delivered by County football associations over the past season, while sharing best practice and learnings from around the country.

A record-breaking 242 submissions were entered from the 50 county associations operating across England, highlighting continuous improvements and showcasing how they are innovating to improve grassroots football and increase participation across all levels of the game.

Berks & Bucks FA was handed the Partnership Award for its ongoing collaboration with Berkshire-based national charity, Sport in Mind.

Since launching in July 2022, Berks & Bucks FA have worked on several exciting projects to help support the work of their charity partner through raising awareness and helping to promote the positive impact sport and physical activity can have in people’s lives.

In addition, as a team, they have also taken part in fundraising activities including cycling and walking challenges on World Mental Health Day, and stepped out for RED January.

Berks & Bucks FA’s chief executive officer, Liz Verrall, said: “It was an honour to be recognised nationally for our important work with Sport in Mind, and I’m incredibly proud of the team at Berks & Bucks for the way they have embraced and championed the partnership at every stage.

“Our partnership with Sport in Mind is part of our public commitment to our football community, recognising the equal importance of both physical and mental health for our overall well being.

“Our purpose, and why we do what we do, is to ‘Connect People and Change Lives’, and I look forward to continuing to work closely with Neil and the team to fulfil this purpose and see what more we can achieve together.”

Neil Harris, founder and CEO of Sport in Mind, added: “We are absolutely delighted that Berks & Bucks FA have been recognised by the FA for the work we do together to raise awareness, drive education and use football to support those struggling with their mental health.

“It is a brilliant way to highlight the importance of starting the conversation- talking about and looking after our mental health through sport.

“To see this recognised through our ground-breaking partnership is absolutely fantastic and I can’t wait to see where our work takes us next.”

The FA’s head of operations for grassroots football, Tim Foster, added: “It has been brilliant to celebrate the tremendous work that takes place across all of our County FAs.

“The projects submitted into this year’s County FA Recognition Awards are a testament to the hard work and dedication across our County FA network which works tirelessly to deliver grassroots football to the communities in which they serve.

“My congratulations go to all of the winners, and to everyone involved in delivering new and innovative projects to grow and enhance the grassroots game.”

For more information on the work of County FAs, visit www.englandfootball.com/explore/county-football-associations.

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