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Epworth Forest Juniors FC - Community Group of the Year 2022

Epworth Forest Juniors FC was established in 1989 to give local boys the opportunity to play football, which followed with the girls' teams in 2021. Our Chairman/Secretary Gavin Lepley is an asset to our club and the community. Nothing is too much trouble for him, including early starts at the club to mark the lines on the pitch and complete any required maintenance work. Epworth Forest Juniors FC wanted to nominate him for Volunteer of the year, however he wanted the group to be recognised rather than himself.

As a club we are committed to help girls and boys within the local communities become more physically active. Our ethos is that football has the power to build and maintain self-esteem, alongside keeping fit, making friends, and having fun. Enjoying football in the true spirit of the game, sportsmanship and skills development are all provided within a welcoming and supportive environment.

We are extremely focused to help all girls develop confidence and competence to play football at school and in a community setting, removing all barriers to girls taking part in the sport. The club is also proud to have achieved the requirements to receive the accredited club status from the English Football Association.

Over the last 12 months, we are pleased to have delivered over 20 thousand hours of active play time which is more than 930 full days. In this period, we are very proud to currently have the largest girls’ sections within Blaby District, with an amazing 15 girls' teams across the age of 5 – 13 years old, training and playing each week with over 180 registered players.

We would like to say a huge thank you to more than 25 volunteers who commit their free time every week to our club. This dedication by all has seen us increase our football team numbers from 7 in 2015 to 17 today! We are delighted to confirm we are currently preparing to increase this next season to 20 teams.

We also take pride in supporting various schools and other community clubs around the district through community bookings for paid use of their facilities and fund-raising events, including helping to raise funds to have a defibrillator installed at Stafford Leys Primary School. With this in mind, we would like to congratulate the great work currently being done by all the community groups and would like to support the great work Enderby Mission Food Bank are doing by donating £200 of our prize money.

Finally, we would like to say thank you to Blaby District Council for putting on a great event and to everyone who voted for us! We really do appreciate your support and community spirit. If you would like to get involved with the Community Group of the Year, we are always looking for volunteers to help us with maintenance and coaching. We currently have a total of 15 coaches, with only two of these being female! We would love to have more female coaches involved, if it is something you are interested in, please get in touch! We have roles suitable for everyone. You can contact us by emailing epworthforestgirlsfc@gmail.com

Leighton Shields and Nick Maston, Epworth Forest Juniors FC

Last updated 23 May 2023
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