Football volunteers in the Dundee area are celebrating after scooping prizes at the Scottish Football Association’s (SFA) Grassroots Awards last week.
Dundee West won Best Community Football Club for 2018 at the ceremony, which took place at Hampden Park a week past Thursday.
Morgan Academy FP amateur football club secretary George Allan collected the Best Adult Volunteer award also, while Riverside Community Sports Club’s secretary and youth football supremo Peter Kingston was nominated for the People’s Award.
Dundee West were presented with their award by Scotland men’s national team head coach Alex McLeish and women’s counterpart Shelley Kerr at a ceremony to recognise the contribution clubs, coaches, parents and volunteers make to their communities.
Present on the night to accept on behalf of West were development officer Tam McCabe, president Jim Hunter, secretary Paul Gibson and committee members Ross Laing and Norman Low.
Gibson said: “This is a brilliant award for our club and everyone involved from the parents to players and coaches to volunteers, they should all be very proud.
“A lot of big strong clubs throughout the country would have been contenders for this award and to think we were selected ahead of everyone else is a great honour.
“The fact is this club started out in 1985 with just a couple of teams and is now being judged as the best community club in the country. It’s a pretty amazing story.”
Dundee West have grown significantly this year, working with partners at the SFA East Region, Leisure and Culture Dundee and local primary schools among others.
There are over 500 players registered at the Charlotte Street club of all ages and abilities. It also caters for the likes of autistic football, walking football and futsal.
Of their progress, McCabe said: “Whether it’s delivering weekly football sessions, out of school holiday camps or reaching out into new initiatives, football can play such an important role in people’s lives.
“We are starting to engage further within our community, looking at how we can be a resource to continue providing opportunities for local members and work with community partners to improve.
“Winning the award is really the biggest achievement for a grassroots club in Scotland.
“It’s a real validation of all the work everyone has put in.”
Of picking up his Best Adult Volunteer award, 71-year-old Dundee man Allan said: “I was nominated by colleagues and former team-mates and didn’t know anything about it.
“It wasn’t until about six weeks ago that I knew I had won and had to keep it under wraps for a bit, so I’m quite happy with it.
“It was a good night and the speech went well so that is the main thing!”
And Allan insists the award, which he won for his work in installing a new 3G pitch and the ongoing building work on the pavilion at Craigie Community Sports Hub, as well as his work at Morgan, is for the help the resources will give kids as well as adults.
He added: “It was for my adult football work but the kids will benefit from these new facilities as well.”