Winners of the “Best Inclusive Project” – Sussex County FA Community Awards – 21st September 2017

It was a real privilege to attend the Sussex County FA Community Awards at the Amex Stadium on Thursday 21st September.  To be in the company of so many volunteers who have dedicated many years of work and support in Sussex, was truly humbling.

The Crawley Old Girls (aka The COGs) were there to pick up the Sussex County FA’s Community Award for “Best Inclusive Project”, which was one of many different Awards given out to recognise the people, and organisations, driving grassroots football in Sussex.


Each Award given was accompanied by some inspirational videos and photographs of the recipients, which were all very uplifting.  Unbeknown to the COGs, ours included an excerpt from the BBC Inside Out programme, which went down very well!   It was great to see Marcus Doyle, (who manages to somehow control us all, as well as coach us) being shown in full flow in front of the whole room!  A great advert to get down to Crawley Town FC and join in!  The round of rapturous applause we received when we got up to go to the stage was a very proud moment, for everyone.  It was also wonderful to get Crawley Town Community Foundation’s Director, Vic Marley, up on stage with us.

The FA Community Awards presented by McDonald’s.
Photo courtesy of Simon Roe Photography.

Sussex County FA have really embraced the relatively new concept of “Women’s Social/Recreational Football” this year and have recently delivered a fantastic Festival of Football for women who are new to the game.  7 teams and over 50 ladies were given the chance to play in a fun tournament at SCFA HQ in July, many of whom hadn’t played before.   This was a very successful event and more are planned, where we hope even more ladies will be involved.  There are so many women out there who are of the “missed generation” who didn’t get to play football when they were younger and hopefully, we’ll find more and more to join in this beautiful game we call football.

Once we had received our Award we listened to the amazing dedication and achievements of Les Kempster, who was recognised with the “Outstanding Contribution to Community Football” Award.


When you think of the relatively short time (2 ½ years) since the COGs’ first session, to see Les Kempster, at aged 93 years young, presented with the Award for over 50 years of committed and dedicated hard work in Sussex football, that truly is incredible.  Along with Lawrie Parsons and Dave Nessling, they have all given Sussex Grassroots’ Football over 150 years of their time.  Amazing!

Marcus has a motto for the COGs and it certainly encapsulates what the Awards were about.