HARDWICK Primary School Football Club is the first in the Bury St Edmunds Primary School Football League to achieve FA Charter Standard Club accreditation.
The school has been recognised for being committed to raising standards throughout grassroots football, ensuring that it is well organised, well managed and providing a positive experience for all players, coaches and volunteers.
Suffolk FA Mini Soccer & Youth Football Development Officer James Morley presented a certificate, commemorative plaque and footballs to manager Derek Smith, volunteer coaches and players in-between Champions League fixtures at the school on Saturday.
He said: “Thank you for Hardwick Primary School inviting me down on Saturday morning to present them with their Charter Standard Award.
“They are the first team in the Bury St Edmunds Primary School Football League to achieve the award. This is a great achievement and a great example of a school and Suffolk club setting a high standard.
“It was a great morning on Saturday, seeing some great football and brilliant atmosphere being created by the club, coaches, players and spectators which only helps to provide an enjoyable and fun morning for everyone.
“We look forward to continuing to work with Hardwick develop their club and the rest of the schools in the league.”
Club secretary Derek Smith said: “This is a tremendous achievement which could not be done without the support of our coaches, and their willingness to take on board all the benefits of good management and the enjoyment such good practice brings.”
Launched in 2001, The FA Charter Standard Programme, supported by McDonald’s, is the FA’s accreditation scheme for grassroots clubs and leagues.
Its goal is to raise standards in grassroots football, support the development of clubs and leagues, recognising and rewarding them for their commitment and achievements.
With this in mind, FA Charter Standard accreditation is awarded to clubs and leagues rigorously adjudged to be well-run and sustainable, which prioritise child protection, quality coaching and implementation of the Respect programme.
Hardwick Primary School has been recognised as a club that can be proud to be a place where people want to play and enjoy football and has demonstrated it offers well-run and sustainable football.
It has prioritised qualified coaching and safeguarding as well as proven to have a positive football environment where children can develop their skills, keep fit and enjoy playing as part of a friendly, inclusive community.
Volunteer coaches help over 60 children across the age groups from Reception to Year 6 every Saturday and have given up dedicated time to take, or are taking, their FA Level 1 qualifications.