THE Suffolk winners of the England Football and McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards have been announced.
A 21-year-old who gave up playing due to medical issues is the Suffolk FA Grassroots Coach of the Year.
Shania Heskett, who coaches Ipswich Valley Rangers Under-13s, won the category in the 2022 England Football and McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards.
After joining the club at the age of eight Shania took up coaching five years ago due to medical issues, and her dedication led to a significant improvement by the team who adore her.
Chris Bond, who has helped to build an entire Youth section at Lowestoft Town FC, won the Volunteer of the Year category.
He has helped the club go from having no Youth teams to ten in just three seasons, enabling the club to offer football opportunities to more than 100 children aged between nine and 16.
Steve Carter, who is secretary of Bramford Road Old Boys FC, won the Spirit of Grassroots Football Award.
A former referee, Steve had to give up in 2014 due to a heart attack and took on a secretarial role instead and was described as an inspiration for all his hard work.
The Judging Panel was led by Suffolk FA Football Development Manager Matt Stebbings and included the following:
Matt Stebbings – Suffolk FA Football Development Manager
Amy Grantham – Suffolk FA Non-Executive Director
Richard Wall – Suffolk FA Honorary Life Member
Jamie Le Grice – McDonald’s Operations Manager
Laura Spooner – Active Suffolk Senior Development Officer (Health & Wellbeing)
Clem Turner – Winner of the 2021 Coach of the Year Adult Award
Matt Stebbings said: “This year’s awards were once again full of fantastic work our grassroots footballing community take on week in week out.
“Each nominee was outstanding in their own way, which made each decision harder to make. Congratulations to all the nominees, our highly commended recipients and also our winners who will be put forward to The FA national awards.”
Suffolk FA 2022 winners
Grassroots Coach of the Year Adults
Winner – Lee Smith (Wot’s Up Warriors FC)
Grassroots Coach of the Year Youth
Winner – Shania Heskett (Ipswich Valley Rangers FC)
Highly Commended – Karl Olley (Beccles Town FC) & Liam Fernard (Haverhill Rovers FC)
Grassroots Grounds Team of the Year
Winner – Bryan Symonds (Bacton United 89)
Grassroots Club of the Year
Winner – Lavenham Youth FC
Highly Commended – Beccles Town FC
Grassroots League of the Year
Winner – Norfolk & Suffolk Youth League
Grassroots Volunteer of the Year
Winner – Chris Bond (Lowestoft Town FC)
Highly Commended – Mark Dye (Stowupland Falcons FC)
Rising Star of the Year
Winner – Rhys Mower (Lakenheath Youth FC)
Grassroots Project of the Year
Winner – Suffolk Frame Football (Coplestonians FC)
Grassroots Match Official of the Year
Winner – Jessica Marriott
Spirit of Grassroots Football Award
Winner – Steve Carter (Bramford Road Old Boys FC)
Details of the Suffolk FA Awards Ceremony will be announced in due course.