Birmingham County Football Association has landed the Football Development Award at the 2023 County FA Recognition Awards for its Central Birmingham Youth Development League project.
The Awards, which were hosted at Wembley Stadium hosted by EE, recognise and endorse the best projects, products and services delivered by County FAs over the past season while sharing best practice and learnings from around the country.
A record breaking 242 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 twelve categories recognised at the awards were:
- Brand Engagement
- Coach Development
- Employee Wellbeing & Engagement
- Equality, Diversity & Inclusion
- Facility Development
- Football Development
- Positive Football Environment
- Referee Development
- Special recognition
- Women & Girls
- Youth Engagement
Birmingham FA was handed the Football Development Award for our Central Birmingham Youth Development League. The Central Birmingham Youth Development League is a Central Venue Youth League in the heart of Birmingham making football truly accessible for all. Having first being sanctioned in the 2021-22 Season with two age groups and 11 teams, the League has expanded over the past two seasons and now has five age groups over 25 teams and over 400 players.
Kevin Shoemake (CEO), Luke Bowles (Football Development Manager), Mizan Rahman (Football Development Officer for Diversity and Inclusion), and League representatives Muhaned Saleh and Barrie Colder were on hand to collect the award.
BCFA CEO, Kevin Shoemake said: "We were delighted to attend the fantastic County FA Recognition Awards evening at Wembley and network and share our learning and experiences from the last 12 months with over 400 County FA and FA colleagues.
Better still, members of the BCFA Development team alongside key figures from the Central Birmingham Youth Development League were thrilled that their efforts were recognised in winning the award for best Football Development initiative in the Country.
The League is organised by a fantastic group of volunteers who provide football opportunities to children and their families who would normally miss out on coaching and playing our national game across some of the most deprived areas of the City. Just one shining example of some of our great clubs and leagues doing wonderful work within our fantastic youth and adult league structure".
The FA’s Head of Operations for Grassroots Football, Tim Foster added: "It has been brilliant to celebrate the tremendous work that takes place across all of our County FAs.
The projects submitted into this year’s County FA Recognition Awards are a testament to the hard work and dedication across our County FA network which works tirelessly to deliver grassroots football to the communities in which they serve.
My congratulations go to all of the winners, and to everyone involved in delivering new and innovative projects to grow and enhance the grassroots game".
For more information on the work of County FAs, click here.