Woking win Blue Square Bet South Community Club of the Year award

KNOCKOUT - Jane and her team meet boxing legend Frank Bruno
KNOCKOUT - boxing legend Frank Bruno throws his support behind Jane and her team at their Christmas bash

WOKING Football in the Community coordinator Jane Spong says she is over the moon after the Cards were awarded the Blue Square Bet South Community Club of the Year award.

Jane and her amazing team engaged with more than 5,000 youngsters last season, and their tireless efforts did not go unnoticed by non-league football’s governing body at the Football Conference presentation evening.

[pullquote]All praise has to go to the team, without them none of what we do could happen[/pullquote]

After school sessions, summer training camps, the continued development of a mental health team and a thriving Football For All programme has seen Kingfield make its mark as a pillar of strength within the local community.

A stunned Jane said: “It was totally out of the blue – we didn’t even know there were awards for work in the community but it’s great to get recognition for the hard work we do.

“All praise has to go to the team, without them none of what we do could happen. Chris, Ryan, Clive, everyone, they are the ones in schools, talking to teachers and delivering the football, I am just the one who gets to write about it.

“We’ve had immense support from the club and all our volunteers so we’d like to thank them for all the help and support they’ve given us, they’ve been marvellous.

“A big thing for schemes like ours is having support from the local county council. A lot of community projects lack support of their council but Woking Borough Council and Surrey County Council have been excellent and we’ve been lucky to have it.”

The award includes a £10,000 grant to help the club fund their fine outreach work but where does a team labelled “outstanding” by league officials go from here?

“We are always looking at different initiatives and every year we look to reach more people. We don’t sit still.

“Already we are looking into a scheme for older members of the community called walking football.

“It’s for ex-players who want to remain active and they already have something similar down at Bury Football Club. Hopefully that will be our next project and we can move on from there.

“Community schemes help the club in many ways. We go to people who might not necessarily approach football but once they engage with us they may think about Woking and then go and watch a match.

“We feel we are an integral part of the club and we are over the moon at the moment.”

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About the Author: Andy Fitzsimon