BEALINGS Primary School’s Futsal team capped off their memorable journey by winning the Team of the Year at the Suffolk Sports Awards.
Members of the team were presented with the award, sponsored by East Suffolk Council, at Milsoms Kesgrave Hall on Friday evening.
They had been shortlisted along with The Oaks Primary School Girl’s Football Team and the St Elizabeth Hospice Venice to Rome Cycle Team.
Head teacher and coach Duncan Bathgate said was delighted to see his pupils pick up the award.
He said: “The team worked so hard for each other. Every time we won a round we celebrated like it was the final. It was a big bonus going from one round to the next.
“We won the semi-final in Birmingham to reach the final which was just a glorious experience to see the boys changing in the England dressing room at St George’s Park.
“We were in awe as it was such a great occasion; there was an eight-foot high photograph of Sir Bobby Robson and there was also one of Kevin Beattie scoring against Scotland.
“When we came back to Suffolk it was like returning to a heroes’ welcome. Suffolk FA were just fantastic in inviting us to Portman Road to parade on the pitch at one of their cup finals.
“The whole journey has just been so memorable from beginning to end.”
Team captain Oscar Perez Sanchez, aged 11, said: “We didn’t expect to win tonight, so are really happy.”
And Finley Brennan, also 11, added: “We are just so happy to have won – it is the gift that keeps on giving.”
Members of the team are pictured above after receiving their award. Photograph: Keith Mindham Photography
Ben Cowling, manager of Lakenheath FC, was shortlisted in the BBC Suffolk Unsung Hero category which was won by Terry Back of Ipswich Jaffa Running Club.
Cowling, who won the Community Volunteer of the Year at last month’s West Suffolk Sport Awards, had successfully applied for nearly £53,000 funding from the Football Foundation for three different projects.
This included the installation of floodlights at The Nest, where the Thurlow Nunn League Division One North play.
He also guided the club to a fifth-placed finish in their first season in the league last season.