EAST RIDING FA CLUB OF THE MONTH – November 2021
The East Riding FA Club of the Month award recognizes the clubs in our county who are going above and beyond to create a fun, safe and inclusive environment for people to play and enjoy football.
These clubs are doing extraordinary things to support their community and are supported by volunteers who work tirelessly for the benefit of others.
The winner of this months award is Lads FC, a club which was created with the aim of keeping people active during the recent COVID-19 pandemic.
As many of us will know only to well the various lockdowns and restrictions placed on people over the last 18 months has challenged us all in many different ways. Club founders David West and Anthony Snow recognised that something needed to be done to help both the mental and physical health of people in their community and its through football they channelled their enthusiasm and motivation to help others.
Lads FC was launched in COVID safe way with the club following the latest Government and FA guidelines. Initially they were sceptical about how many people might be interested in playing football at time when so many of us were isolating or fearful of mixing. To their delight though the clubs first 11-a-side Charity match attracted 18 players with word quickly spreading about this exciting new venture.
Crucially the club has two main aims which are to raise funds for local and national charities and to support people with their mental and physical health by creating a safe place for them to play and enjoy football.
Since the clubs inception Lads FC have helped 75 different people make their debuts in 11-a-side matches with a number of others also attending their midweek training sessions. The club now has a regular playing squad of around 45 people with the club able to field two sides most weekends.
The club has also made huge strides in supporting the Mental Wellness of many their members with player Damion Brown creating the I'm (not) Fine initiative. I'm (not) Fine allows people to check up on theirs friends or colleagues without them having to go into great detail or share a long message. Something which is sometimes a problem for men when trying to express their feelings. It is this creativity and thoughtfulness which has helped create a unique bond and spirit amongst many of the players at Lads FC.
Co-Chairman Anthony Snow said; "The messages of support we receive from the players makes it all worth organising and money we have raised for charity is unbelievable. We never planned to get this far but the fact this club has started to effect people's lives positively is so rewarding. It's not just down to the two chairmen, or our small group of volunteers though, every single player makes the club what it is."
As well as playing regular friendly fixtures the club has also entered a team in the East Riding FA Charity / Casual League with the monthly competition giving some of the clubs players their first taste of competitive football.
When asked what the future holds for the club Anthony Snow said; "We'd love to keep expanding and getting more people active. That would depend on more people stepping up to run more teams and the availability of venues. One thing we do know is that we will continue to have guys and girls escaping the stresses of everyday life for 90 minutes, for many years to come."
With Lads FC proving to be more than just a football club Club Co-Chairman Anthony Snow added; "We were over the moon to hear we had been recognised. There are so many clubs doing great things, so to receive this news was amazing. When the players found out, there was such a buzz in the WhatsApp group."
If you would like to find out more about Lads FC or would like to play for them then please make contact via their Twitter, Instagram or Facebook profiles.
Lads FC will now receive a nomination for Club of the Year at the 2022 FA and McDonalds Grassroots Football Awards.
If your club deserves recognition for the work, it does then please click here and make your nomination for next months award.