Cheshire Football Association has been successfully shortlisted for the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Award, and the Digital Engagement Award, at the 2022 County FA Recognition Awards.
The Awards, which will be announced at Wembley Stadium connected by EE on Thursday 15 September 2022, recognise and endorse the best projects, products and services delivered by County FAs over the past two seasons while sharing best practice and learnings from around the country.
A record breaking 235 submissions have been entered from the 50 County FAs operating across England, highlighting continuous improvements and showcasing how they are innovating to improve grassroots football and increase participation across all levels of the game.
The eleven categories which will be recognised at the awards were:
• Brand Engagement
• Coach Development
• Digital Engagement
• Employee Engagement
• Equality, Diversity & Inclusion
• Football Development
• Insight & Data
• Special recognition
• Women & Girls
• Youth Engagement
Cheshire FA has made the final shortlist for the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Award for the incredible range of initiatives and projects the County has led on and supported throughout the 2021-22 Season. October 2021 saw Cheshire FA host a prestigious Black History Month event, with special guests and speakers from across the beautiful game, sharing experiences and highlighting the importance of inclusion. Rainbow Laces was a campaign that Cheshire FA also proudly supported, with an event centred around Creating an Inclusive Environment, showcasing a variety of input from the LGBTQ+ community.
The 2021-22 season also saw the creation and launch of a For All Officers programme that encourages clubs to take a lead on inclusion by having a dedicated individual who has been trained up as part of the programme; this has been a huge success, with lots of key learnings being taken back to the clubs of the participants; creating role models and allies within the game in Cheshire.
In addition, Cheshire FA has been shortlisted for the Digital Engagement Award, following the success of the Cheshire Champions piece, delivered in conjunction with International Women’s Day 2022. The campaign saw clubs and leagues across Cheshire nominate their female Cheshire Champions, detailing the impact they had on their organisation, along with a photo. These were then shared across a full dedicated week, shining a spotlight on the incredible work done by female volunteers in Cheshire.
CEO, Steve Smithies said: "We are very proud of the incredible work that has been carried out by the team at Cheshire FA over the past twelve months. Nominations for these awards are testament to the dedication we have shown as a County to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, which, in line with our values, has helped to make the game in Cheshire more inclusive. We are also delighted to have been nominated for the Digital Engagement Award, which shone a spotlight on our committed female volunteers. We look forward to attending the Awards and wish all of our fellow nominees the best of luck.”
The FA’s Head of Operations for Grassroots Football, Tim Foster added: “I’d like to congratulate Cheshire FA in making the final shortlist for the [the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Award, and the Digital Engagement Award - and all of the other County FAs for their excellent submissions which are testament to their dedication and achievements over the past two seasons.
“The long-standing partnership between the FA and County FAs is a crucial part of our long-term strategy for grassroots football. The partnership is committed to serving those that participate and are involved in the game, and providing the leadership needed to ensure future generations continue to enjoy and benefit from our national game.
“We look forward to recognising and rewarding our County FAs at Wembley Stadium in September and thanking each and every one of them for the vital work they deliver across their local communities.”
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