First kick-off post-lockdown at Southwater Royals Football Club will be a double celebration.
The girls can look forward to some new football kit when play resumes, thanks to a £250 sports award from UK Power Networks. The girls, who came second in the Sussex County Women and Girls Football League GSL Under 13s premier division last year, need money towards new shirts, shorts, socks and raincoats, having outgrown their existing gear.
Clive Bridgewater, a project manager at UK Power Networks, nominated the squad for his employer’s Team Sport Award and was delighted to receive a grant. Clive’s twin daughters Jasmin and Siobhan, who are 13, have missed playing for the club during lockdown. Siobhan is their top goal scorer and trains with Brighton and Hove Albion.
Clive said: “We’re grateful to receive the funding because it will help us to keep down the costs for the players. The team need to look professional and wear matching kit.
“The girls are really missing the club and have so much energy. Our back garden has been turned into a football pitch and there are footballs all over the place! Their manager hopes play can restart at the end of July, but we don’t know yet. It’s good for teamwork, builds respect and gives them something to strive towards, to keep improving.”
In the winter the team normally trains on an artificial pitch at Horsham Football Club and in the summer they play at a football ground in Dutchells Copse, in Roffey. Home matches are played at Millais Secondary School in Horsham. Last weekend there was a presentation for the team on WhatsApp.
The Team Sport Award scheme is run by UK Power Networks to encourage staff to volunteer in the community and is aimed at promoting healthy living, teamwork and developing sports opportunities. So far this year, more than 70 local sports teams connected to UK Power Networks’ staff have benefitted.