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 Barham AFC who are credited with giving disadvantaged children the opportunity to participate in grassroots football.
Based in East Hull the club recently achieved England Football Accredited status and are providing playing opportunities for over 100 young people.
When asked why the club was formed Club Chairman Martin Blount said; "Barham AFC was created with a vision to offer football to all children regardless of ability. As a club we believe that any child with a passion to play football, and a dream of being a part of a team should be given this opportunity. We welcome children of all ages and abilities and our aim for the future is to grow as a club for the benefit of all young people in our community."
Although the club currently only has one affiliated team Martin and Club Secretary Emma Blount recognised that there is a large number of disenfranchised young people in their area who do not currently have access to football provision. As a result they have set up free weekly turn up and football sessions for children of all ages. Martin said; "Saturday morning sessions have proven to be a great success. We never charge for these sessions as we understand how difficult times are financially. We would hate to think that a child is missing out on playing football because their family is struggling, as parents ourselves we understand how hard it can be to fund out of school activities as well as keeping on top of the bills."
As a consequence of attracting so many children to their Saturday turn up and play football sessions the club are now set to create more teams with plans afoot to create a full male player pathway at the club.
Its not just on the field where the club have benefitted their local community though. The club currently play out of Alderman Kneeshaw Park and have worked hard to improve the facilities. Martin said; "When we came to Alderman Kneeshaw Park we were given the use of the changing room area. We have painted all of the containers, added shower curtains and improved the hand washing facilities and toilets. Outside we have cleared all the weeds and with the help of 'the friends of the park' now have flower beds in which we are growing vegetables, salad and herbs. The aim is to bring the community together and see what meals can be made from home grown produce."
When asked what it meant to be named the East Riding FA Club of the Month for October Club Chairman Martin Blount said; "When we first set up Barham AFC we all shared the same vision of being a club for all. Our volunteers both on the field and behind the scenes are absolutely amazing, and without them we wouldn't be where we are now. Seeing the children each week playing a sport they love and leaving the training sessions with a smile on their faces means the world to all of us. Receiving this award tells all of us that what we are doing means as much to others as it does to us."
Barham AFC will now receive a nomination for Club of the Year at the 2023 FA 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.