Grecians and FITC win two awards
Exeter City Football Club won the Daikin Professional Club of the Year award at the Devon Sports Awards, run by Active Devon and the Exeter Foundation, in a ceremony at Sandy Park last weekend.
The judges said: “They are unique in being a community owned, co-operative based club in the Football League and despite the constant struggle to hold the city’s flag high on such an unequal playing field, the club has not only remained consistently in the top half of League 2 but has raised over £17,000 for local charities. Through the work of its Football in the Community department, the club has made a positive contribution to the lives of over 40,000 young people.”
The Football in the Community department also won an award on the night for its Creating Chances programme in the Sportivate Programme of the Year category.
The six-week project targeted young people and adults that are classed as or are in danger of becoming NEET (not in employment, education or training) to participate in gaining a Level 2 Employability qualification, while learning the skills and techniques involved in becoming a multi-sport coach.
The Creating Chances project is part of Sportivate, a £32 million Lottery programme that gives 14- to 25-year-olds access to six-week courses in a range of sports and physical activity opportunities.
The project involved 12 individuals attending a three-hour tutorial session at St James Park and a three-hour physical activity session one day a week at the University of Exeter. The Level 2 award provided the students with the skills and confidence to write their own CV and to complete a job application and be prepared for a job interview.
“We are delighted to be recognised for our Creating Chances programme,” said Jamie Vittles, Head of Community (pictured right, with Football Development Officer Scott Walker). “It started out as a pilot, but has been so successful that a second course is now running, with another two to follow.
“Every student in the first cohort passed their qualification and four have been offered a placement working on our football programmes. The other eight students have been signposted to other volunteering opportunities within Exeter CVS. Everyone has benefited from this programme and we are very pleased it is continuing.”
Exeter City’s Chief Executive Julian Tagg added: “It is great to see our club’s achievements being recognised on a county-wide level. It is further evidence that our football club is far more than what takes place on the pitch on Saturday afternoons – Exeter City reaches out to the wider community in Exeter and Devon, and makes a real difference to the lives of tens of thousands of people.
“Creating Chances is a fantastic programme – though it barely scratches the surface of the sheer number and scope of projects that Jamie Vittles and his team at Football in the Community organise and run all year round. I’m delighted that their work is receiving the plaudits it deserves.”