IF you witnessed exceptional sportsmanship during February then the individual or team who went that extra mile in the name of admirable conduct could be the winner of a special Fair Play Award through the Essex County FA’s new Facebook voting format.
The County FA are welcoming nominations for the latest monthly award, with a deadline of Tuesday 5th March for submissions. Anyone can be nominated for the competition, which will ultimately culminate in an open vote between two final nominees. The goal of the awards is to promote the best elements of the game and encourage them in all formats of youth and adult football.
January’s winner was Jackie Day of Frontiers Ladies FC, as nominated by Howard Leigh of Leigh Ramblers Ladies FC. He recalled: “We played Frontiers soon after a tragedy had beset the family of one of our players. There was a minute’s silence before the game.”
“Following the silence, Jackie made a point of approaching our player to give her a big hug with some consoling words. It was an off-the-cuff gesture to someone she didn’t know which was appreciated, and showed a lot about her as a person.”
Helen Hever, Essex County FA Designated Safeguarding Officer, said: “The game can’t exist without respect between players, coaches, referees, fans, leagues and everybody in football. Everyone loves football because of the passion and the competitive edge, but it’s important that we’re able to play the game in the right way. The spirit of fair play is crucial to that.”
“We’re looking to celebrate any display of sportsmanship across all the formats of the game. Fair play exists all over grassroots, like shaking hands or three cheers at the end of a match, but we’re seeking nominations that go that bit further. We’re looking for elements like team spirit – both in the team you play for and the opposition – respect, friendship and excellence.”
Nominations are open until Tuesday 5th March to recognise fair play which took place in February. To put someone forward, comment on the Essex County FA’s Facebook post (search for ‘EssexFootball’) with these details: yours and the nominee’s name, club/team (and age group where applicable), a description of why your nominee should win. Good luck!