Martin Read – Sports Reporterr
Southwater Royals Football Club was founded in 1997, developing into an FA Chartered Standard Club – one of the first clubs in the area to be so accredited, with the accolade only awarded to clubs committed to promoting excellent qualified coaching in a safe, rewarding environment.
The Club is now firmly established as a well-respected community organisation and each year celebrates with a special family fun presentation day, just held again at Southwater Leisure Centre. The Club prides itself on promoting good football, while building team spirit and a sense of fair play in all players and stimulating and fostering social aspects for players and families alike, the annual Presentation Day placing the emphasis on fun for all the family. As before, this year’s Presentation Day featured activities for all of the children playing for the Club, with in-house tournaments involving a teams with a combination of players from different age groups and abilities, enabling all participants to have a full day of football. Bouncy castles and stalls completed the busy scene, which was, this year, recorded in a photo shoot from Club Legends for all of the players, managers and officials, accompanied by Councillor Billy Greening who presented the medals. As an example of the success of the Club, soon after launching the Southwater Royals Under 12 Girls’ Section, the new team got off to a flying start with big win in their first ever match in the Sussex Women & Girls’ U12 League. They beat Lindfield 12-0, with Captain Siobhan Bridgewater leading from the front with five goals, Grace Bates adding three and Maddie Wilders, Maisie Ayling, Charlotte Doyle and Mia Scott also scoring, boosted by great support from the touchline. Southwater Royals Chairman Andy New told us: “Football is the biggest female team sport in England and its growing, and at the Royals we believe that there is massive growth potential in girls’ football, so we started the new team and it was wonderful to see their opening game played in such terrific spirit and with extremely high quality performances.” All Southwater Royals’ Managers and Assistant Managers are encouraged and supported in pursuing further coaching qualifications, and are trained in emergency first aid procedures and required to retain and develop their knowledge of the game through membership of the Sussex County FA Coaches Association. Speaking of the Fun Presentation Day, Andy New summed up saying: “Our 7 hour fun festival of football really is the highlight of our year. We bring together the local community and this year we had an amazing turn out – over 200 families attended ! Each age group for boys and girls, had their own team presentations for players of the season and participation awards and to see and feel the community spirit and joy on their faces was fantastic. Our club continues to grow and this year we’ve had over 50 girls playing and enjoying our big day – this togetherness is what this football club represents. We are doubling the size of our girls section next season and are looking for girls wishing to get involved in football from school years 3-8. And, we also look forward to welcoming new players across all boys’ age groups, too. We are a go-ahead thriving Club and are always on the lookout for sponsors and helpers to join our committee, so I should be delighted to hear from anyone who would like to join our football family – firstname.lastname@example.org.” More details can be found on the Club website www.southwaterroyals.uk