London FA are proud to announce our Grassroots Award Winners for 2022.
We received nearly 300 nominations across the 10 award categories, one of the highest nominations for a County FA. Our judging panel had a very difficult task of choosing our winners with the fantastic nominations we received.
The award categories were:
- The Spirit of Grassroots Football Award
- Grassroots Match Official of the Year
- Grassroots Youth Coach of the Year
- Grassroots Adult Coach of the Year
- Grassroots Project of the Year
- Grounds Team of the Year
- Grassroots Club of the Year
- Rising Star of the Year
- Grassroots Volunteer of the Year
Everyone nominated is a grassroots hero and thoroughly deserved to be nominated for these awards however, there can only be one winner!
Grassroots Youth Coach of the Year – Harry Cuthbert is the lead coach for AFC Leyton’s U13 Wyverns team. It is Harry’s dedication, enthusiasm and support to football and the team he manages which makes him our winner, encouraging the team to be better despite challenges he faces. He has supported them to get to the first London FA U14 Girls Cup Final and securing them third place in the league, one predominately made up of U12 boys. It is Harry’s dedication and sense of unity with the girl’s side which makes him our Youth Coach of the Year.
Grassroots Adult Coach of the Year – Richard Mahoney is the coach of the reserves team of Camden Town Ladies and only joined at the start of the 2021/22 season. In a short time, Richard has created a football atmosphere where every player feels important and valued, helping them fall in love with the sport again. His whole heart is in women’s football, putting much of his time and energy in supporting and growing the women’s game, never letting the club fall short of what they should have for every player to be their best, both on and off the pitch.
Grassroots Club of the Year – East London Ladies & Little Ladies started up several years ago when there was a lack of girl’s teams in East London. Since starting, the club has grown to 150 girls from ages 3 to 18, with many of the girls joining because they see the training as they pass through London Fields, showcasing the importance of a visible display to encourage participation. The club encourages girls to push themselves out of their comfort zones, learning to compete and support one another. The values, warmth and inclusivity of the club have been created by the founding members Steph, Viv and Pav, which go beyond the football pitch.
Grassroots League of the Year – Islington Midweek has dedicated a huge amount of time and resource to become an England Football Accredited League, producing a range of resources and events to assist all their clubs. Their workshops have supported clubs in working through the criteria and barriers to achieved England Football Accreditation and the league have also offered funding to clubs in need of qualifications. The league is dedicated to club development and have appointed a league development officer, Steven Kelly, who has over 40 years of service for the Islington Midweek league and began as a referee. The Islington Midweek league stands out because of its dedication to club and referee development.
Grassroots Volunteer of the Year – Lee Wilmott has shown amazing support towards the Frame Football Programme in London. She has set up a frame football programme with Teviot Rangers which is a massive boost for children involved. This is a massive project due to the lack of opportunities currently in London and Lee has shown a great passion to increase opportunities for children with disabilities. Lee has a clear passion and love for the game and is dedicated to creating fun and inclusive opportunities for girls, women, and disabled players. Always looking for the next challenge, she takes and makes every opportunity to add new programmes to the club’s offer at Teviot Rangers, working with London FA and national partners to engage the local community. Lee is a truly inspiring volunteer at the heart of the grassroots community.
Grassroots Rising Star of the Year – Nayim Ahmed joined the London FA Youth Council in 2019 and has gone above and beyond his duty by representing young people on boards, panels and councils such as London FA, National FA and Legacy Youth Board. Nayim is an advocate for equal opportunities for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and his competencies in leadership, activism and engaging youth is truly outstanding. He has always put the needs of others ahead of his own by sacrificing his time and effort to support young people. Nayim has actively made a significant impact to hundreds of young people in his local community through football. He has continuously challenged himself in order to have a bigger impact making him a role model to the next generation of volunteers.
Grassroots Grounds Team of the Year – Paul Cox is a one-man grounds team at the London Marathon Playing Fields Foundation Greenwich, in which the volume of football taking place is incredible with the SELKENT League. Paul’s attitude and work ethic to take on the he role of grounds person at this site is very commendable considering the amount of games played each weekend on it. A big undertaking and all done with a smile on his face, Paul is professional, dedicated and highly competent, ensuring that the pitches and the ground is prepared for youth football at weekends at an incredible scale and the dedication to make sure the fixtures take place with the minimum of fuss.
Grassroots Project of the Year – Saving Souls FC was established in 2021 as a football team with prevention of mental health and improvement of well-being at the forefront. The hub aims to address mental health concerns within our communities through football, fitness, education, and communication. Kerry Philips and the O.T.M.S Foundation set up this project over lockdown and they now work alongside external organisations to enable them to signpost members and non-members to professional support whilst raising awareness and providing opportunities through different methods of engagement such as: Friday Football Men's Forum Charity Matches South London Grassroots Football League. Saving Souls FC are also an England Accredited team and they play in the South London Grassroots division of the London Inclusion Football league.
Grassroots Match Official of the Year – Mikaeel Wozniak is a Level 7 Referee who is an extremely polite and hardworking official. Mikaeel featured in the London FA County Cup finals, lining on the Sunday Senior Trophy. His energy and willingness to learn, which has been evident since his referee course, has meant his progress has been fantastic,developing him into a strong official with traits which will support him in later life. It is his eagerness to learn and become a better referee which makes him stand out the most.
Spirit of Grassroots Football Award – Abdul Hameed is a big advocate for Disability Football in London and his membership with the London FA Disability Focus Group strives to improve inclusion within the game. Abdul, who has a learning disability and a visual impairment, is Co-Trainer (LD and Sport), Mencap and also coaches on the Long Lane JFC VI and blind sessions on a monthly basis. Abdul is a big role model to the players involved and he coaches within the Chelsea Foundation as well on their Kicks programme. Abdul advocates that there shouldn’t be any barriers in the way of anyone getting involved with sport and is a massive advocate for inclusion in football.
Congratulations to all our winners! We will be catching up with them individually very soon.