Date published: 24/04/2013
The Barclays Community Sports Award for March 2013 has been awarded to Eddie Mulligan for his commitment to grassroots football in Northern Ireland. The monthly awards recognise the outstanding contributions to community sport that are being made by individuals across the UK. Eddie will now go forward to the season long awards to be held on 3 May at the Haymarket Hotel in London.
In 2002 Eddie co-founded Glendowan FC, in Colin, West Belfast. The club currently has 160 players and 32 volunteers and it gives children aged from five to 15 the opportunity to play football and attain life skills through sports participation. Eddie dedicates at least four nights a week to the club, managing the under 15s team and training the youth academy, and this May he will also be taking 23 players to Denmark to take part in a tournament.
Eddie has worked tirelessly to position Glendowan FC as a recognised and respected organisation. The club also supports players through coaching qualifications and five more members are hoping to complete their FA Level 1 coaching qualification this summer.
Speaking about the award, Eddie commented: “Receiving the Barclays Community Sports Award was such a surprise, and I’m extremely grateful. Seeing the club start from nothing and to have watched it develop and keep growing is fantastic. If the kids are into football, they’re out of trouble.”
“We’re a community club, and we’re only as good as the people involved. At the end of the day it’s their club, not mine, and we’ve got such a great team here. It’s not just about the football though, we teach the players respect; to respect each other and to respect where we live.”
David Wheldon, Barclays Managing Director of Brand, Reputation and Citizenship said: “Eddie has made an outstanding contribution to the development of young people in the area. He has earned the respect and appreciation of many in the local community, and with this award we hope his work will become known to a much wider audience. We want to recognise community champions all over the UK and I hope Eddie's voluntary efforts will inspire other people to get involved in community sport."
Gareth Southgate, head of the judging panel said: “Eddie has seen football as a great opportunity to communicate with a hard to reach age group and his dedication to supporting young people through the sport is truly commendable. I hope people will take the time to nominate deserving candidates like Eddie for the Barclays Community Sports Awards.”
Each monthly winner receives £1,000 for their group or organisation, half of which will be spent on skills-based qualifications for members. The winner also receives a limited edition trophy and is entered into the end of season award to win a further £5,000, donated by Barclays Spaces for Sports. All monthly winners will receive a VIP trip to London in May to an exclusive lunch at the Haymarket Hotel where the season long winner will be announced and receive their award from Gareth Southgate.
The Barclays Community Sports Awards are delivered in a partnership between Barclays Spaces for Sports, the Premier League’s Creating Chances programme and the Football Foundation.
To nominate a person, group or organisation for the Barclays Community Sports Award of the Month simply visit www.barclayscommunitysportsaward.com