WHETHER they’re players, coaches, referees or volunteers, there are many local ‘Football Families’ who come together to enjoy their favourite sport, and the Essex County FA are highlighting them in December as part of their #CelebrateEssex volunteer competition on Twitter, which helps recognise the grassroots game’s unsung heroes.
#CelebrateEssex showcases stories from local legends, increasing their visibility as role models to engage new members and inspire them to join the grassroots community as volunteers. The County FA are inviting Football Family nominations until Thursday 5th December, when submissions will be assessed to decide who’ll feature in a poll to identify the latest heroes.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of grassroots football, putting in countless hours of their time so others can enjoy playing. The game needs more helpers, but it also needs to retain and recognise those already involved. Through this monthly Twitter competition, #CelebrateEssex aims to do just that, promoting ten different roles throughout the year.
December is the month of the ‘Football Family’ category. Football history features many high-profile collectives, such as The Nevilles, who have shared a common interest in the beautiful game. But there are also a number of more local families who keep grassroots football going, including mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, for whom football is unavoidable in their households.
The category, which is brand new for the 2019/20 season, has been scheduled to coincide with the Christmas period, a time when family togetherness is a key feature. Future months will feature: January: Media Manager, February: Coach (Youth and Adult), March: Footie Mum, April: Treasurer, May: Secretary, June: Chairperson.
#CelebrateEssex captured the imagination of the community during 2018/19, resulting in media coverage plus thousands of Twitter interactions. 104 nominations were made, with 8,703 votes cast, and all nominees were publicly thanked. This led to a special commendation in the County FA Recognition Awards ‘Digital Engagement’ category, staged by The FA in June.
Stage One: Make Your Nomination on Twitter
If you know a Football Family who you think should receive some special thanks, anyone can make a nomination by tweeting (by 5th December):
“I nominate [Insert Name or Twitter Username] from [Insert Club/Team or Twitter Username] as @EssexCountyFA #CelebrateEssex Football Family because…”
State why your nominee should be the winner and be as descriptive as you can in 280 characters! It’s important to use the #CelebrateEssex hashtag to ensure your entry is registered.
Stage Two: Nominations Reviewed
Once the window closes, all the nominations received will be collated and a panel will decide which individuals will be progressed to the Twitter poll/vote…
Stage Three: Let Voting Commence!
A Twitter poll/vote will be available at @EssexCountyFA for seven days, featuring profiles of the nominees so voters can make an informed decision on who to vote for.
Stage Four: And Our Winner Is…
The winner of the poll will be contacted to be that month’s ‘Volunteer of the Month’, who’ll receive a prize, publicity and an invitation to the Essex County FA’s 2020 Awards Evening.
Follow the #CelebrateEssex hashtag on Twitter to keep track of the competition! To find out more about volunteering in grassroots Essex football, visit www.essexfa.com/volunteers, follow @EssexCountyFA on Twitter and search for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook.
#CelebrateEssex Terms and Conditions
* prizes must relate to the category the individual has won
* previous category winners are ineligible for 2019/20 nomination
* irregular voting patterns could result in the suspension of a category