The East Riding FA Unsung Hero of the Month award recognizes those individuals in our county who are going above and beyond to create a fun, safe, and inclusive environment for people to play and enjoy football.
We know that grassroots football in our county is supported by an amazing group of volunteers who put their heart and soul into supporting the game for the benefit of others. This award is our way of recognizing and celebrating your efforts.
The winner of this month’s award is Sean Gibson of Nafferton Youth Football Club.
Sean is credited with stepping in to save junior football participation in the Nafferton area after the original coach moved away from the area. With Sean’s oldest child enjoying the opportunity to play football on his doorstep and after seeing the positive impact the Saturday morning football sessions were having on young people in the area Sean was determined to make sure they continued.
To support the delivery of football in Nafferton Sean quickly completed his FA Level 1 coaching qualification and took responsibility for the running of the session before expanded the age range that could participate with children aged 5 to 11 being now being able to attend.
With Sean experiencing an influx of players through his positive coaching methods and behind the scenes work it wasn’t long before an U7s team was launched. This quickly led to the creation of an U14s side with players who couldn’t attend the Saturday morning sessions encouraged to join.
The club now has three junior teams with Sean hoping that these will transition into adult football in the very near future.
Sean is more though than a football coach though. Sean is also the club chairman, welfare officer and more recently COVID officer and puts in a tremendous amount of work securing sponsors, helping with player registrations, and making sure the clubs pitches are in good condition.
When asked what motivates him to spend so much of his time at the club Sean replied, “Providing the opportunities for young people in the area to take part in football and seeing them develop is fantastic. We currently have 36 children signed up to our three teams as well as another 38 registered to attend our open sessions and I can't imagine spending my Saturday and Sunday mornings doing anything else.”
When asked about what support he receives Sean said, “There is a great facility at Nafferton and the Recreational Club are very supportive, which makes life a whole lot easier. The other coaches at the club are all working to the same philosophy and we have a great support network where we can share ideas. The parents are very supportive and help with things like sponsoring the teams. The children are also brilliant with them all wanting to learn and improve.”
Clubs and Participation Development Officer Chris Johnson said, “Sean is a fantastic servant to grassroots football in our county and has gone the extra mile to ensure that young people in his community are able to play football. The hours of hard work dedicated by Sean deserve recognition and we are delighted that people from Nafferton Junior Football Club took the time to nominate Sean for this award.”
If know someone who deserves recognition for their contribution to grassroots football then please click here and nominate them for next months award.