Football club wins award for inclusivity

Photo #1 � The Hillington Square Football Club with team coach Alice Henderson (bottom right) and Ro

Photo #1 � The Hillington Square Football Club with team coach Alice Henderson (bottom right) and Ross Edwards, Placeshaping Manager at Providence Street (bottom left). Picture: Pal Tibbs - Credit: Archant

A community football club in West Norfolk has scored a top award.

Hillington Square Football Club, based out of Freebridge Community Housing's Providence Street Community Centre in King's Lynn, was awarded best inclusive project at the Norfolk Football Association Community Volunteer Awards.

The awards were judged by a national panel of experts which included World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst.

The ceremony was held at Sprowston Manor Hotel on Friday, August 25 and winners received various prizes including match tickets, coaching bursaries, kit or equipment.

The sessions at Providence Street are free of charge and the 15 to 20 children who regularly attend each session range between 8-14 years old, and come to the club from a variety of cultural backgrounds to take part in games and training drills.

Norfolk FA put Freebridge employee Alice Henderson and one of the club's members, Andris Vasilevskis, through their level 1 coaching qualification so that they could continue to develop the footballing skills of those involved.

Alice Henderson said: 'I am delighted that the volunteers and young people that attend these football sessions have been recognised for their commitment to the club.

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'A lot of the young people are the same children I met when I first began coaching them, and seeing them develop their skills, both on the pitch and socially has been great.'

Through their close links to Freebridge and Providence Street the football club have also been able to get involved in a number other activities and community events in and around the area, including the Hillington Square Summer Fete.

Robert Clarke, director of housing at Freebridge, said: 'It's great to see that one of the groups that we are supporting through our Providence Street Community Centre has received such a clear endorsement.

'To receive recognition from a judging panel made up of such iconic names is testament to the hard work that all those involved have put in to make the club a success.'

Other winners included Stalham Youth FC, Freethorpe FC and Taverham FC, who were all awarded an FA charter standard club award.

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