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Paringdon Youth scoop major award

Football / Wed 14th Jan 2015 at 01:41pm

Paringdon YouthA HARLOW-based grassroots football club, Paringdon Youth FC, are “so proud” to have secured FA Charter Standard Club status over the festive period, indicating that they are well run, sustainable and, importantly, that they rate child protection, quality coaching and safety as paramount.

They provide football for 16 teams based at the Paringdon Sports Club in Harlow, with their sides participating in either the Mid Herts Rural Minors League or the West Essex & East Hertfordshire Youth League. They satisfied all of the criteria required for FA Charter Standard Club status in November, meaning Essex County FA Senior Football Development Officer, Ian Bent, presented them with their plaque in December.

Alan Hardy, Club Secretary and Manager of the Under 15s Lions, reacted: “As a new club we’re trying to grow the game from the youngest age groups upwards and this award helps show parents looking for a club for their child that we’ve reached a standard which outlines structured coaching in a safe and all-inclusive environment.”

“We only started in 2013, but some of the founder committee members were already aware of the FA Charter Standard from previously being members of another club. It was unanimous from the outset that it was an accreditation we’d aspire to achieve as soon as was practical. It was a team effort to achieve this and the application was pulled together through the tenacity and commitment of our Charter Standard Coordinator, Jim Stewart-Evans.”

The kite mark is awarded to clubs who provide a high-quality football experience. The entry level is ‘Club’, the next level is a ‘Development Club’ and the most advanced is ‘Community Club’. Each advanced step requires additional criteria to be met. Once awarded, clubs and leagues are given an annual health check to ensure standards are maintained. Kite marks can be withdrawn if a club has a poor disciplinary record or they fail to attend in-service events.

FA Charter Standard Clubs all feature a trained Welfare Officer and have CRB-checked and Emergency Aid-trained volunteers linked to each team. They all have a Level 1 coach for each youth team, with appropriate club administration in place and a volunteer coordinator. Parents looking for a club for their child often find comfort when choosing an FA Charter Standard Club that there will be a positive environment in which to play football.

Ian Bent, Senior Football Development Officer at the Essex County FA, praised the club’s forward thinking: “It was a joy to work with Jim, who took the lead on finalising this application. He recognised that the FA Charter Standard programme provides recognition that clubs are sustainable and well run, with paramount importance placed on child protection and safety.”

“It also recognises a club’s commitment to coaching, player and coach development and raising the standards of behaviour in our game. I was pleased to be able to make the presentation and meet Paringdon’s officials face-to-face as the club have worked hard behind the scenes putting everything together and this award is a great achievement.”

Hardy added: “There is a real community spirit amongst us and, although we’re in competition for players with other local youth football clubs, we all know that without the existence of the other clubs there’d be no competition in the first place. That’s why a few of our clubs work collaboratively with the West Essex & East Hertfordshire Youth League to do our part to grow the game in our home town first by entering our youngest teams in their league.”

“Hopefully we’ll bring it somewhere close to the amount of teams it used to have some years back. Our committee members and coaches are so proud because we know what the status represents and our members will now appreciate more why they’re asked to read and sign that they’ll abide by our club’s code of conduct each year.”

More information on Paringdon Youth FC can be found at www.paringdonfc.com. To find out more about the FA Charter Standard Programme, visit www.essexfa.com. Details and news are also shared on Twitter @EssexCountyFA and by searching for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook.

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