Monday, 14 October 2019

Female-only football club receives community award

Female-only football club receives community award

WARGRAVE Women and Girls Football Club have collected an award for commitment to the community.

The Queens Award for Voluntary Services is the highest honour for voluntary groups and is the equivalent of an MBE.

Club chairman Bob Austen and eight other representatives of the club, including coaches and committee members, attended a ceremony at Reading town hall to receive the award from James Puxley, the Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire.

Mr Austen said: “The award is for everyone involved with the football club and all the talent and effort that goes into making us a special club to be a part of.

“Our club is run entirely by volunteers. We would not exist without them and we always try to be inclusive.”

 The club is the second biggest female-only football club in the country, with two women's teams and age group squads down to under-sixes.

Mr Austen said: “When the club started in 2000 it was just a few people playing in a field. I came on board because they needed a referee and that was about 16 years ago. I have been chairman for 13 years.

“We have grown from about 30 girls to the stage where we now have 400. There is a wonderful atmosphere at the club and I believe one of the reasons why we are successful is because parents are attracted to our culture of friendship and nurturing.

“It is a very safe environment for the girls to make friends and I like to think that underlines everything that we do.

“A lot more football clubs around the area are starting women's teams and we are pleased to see this. It is good for the sport.”

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