TWO FA AWARDS HANDED OUT AT WEST CORNWALL FLEXI-LEAGUE FIXTURE
Cornwall FA was delighted to attend a West Cornwall Flexi-League fixture on Wednesday the 15th January to recognise a fantastic contribution from Penwith College and present FC Riviera with their Charter Standard Award.
On a night when FC Riviera faced Dropship FC on the 3G surface at Penwith College in the West Cornwall Flexi-League, representatives from Cornwall FA were in attendance to hand out two special awards.
Firstly, a key focus for the evening was to present Martin Tucker, Director of Penwith College, with an award for the college’s ‘Continual Services to Grassroots Football in the Community’.
This was awarded to Penwith College for allowing the West Cornwall Flexi-League to use their 3G surface on a weekly basis. This enables hundreds of players to get back involved in the game, many of whom have continued to transition back into mainstream football.
After Penwith College was presented with the award, an appreciative Dave Bartlam of the West Cornwall Flexi-League expressed his thanks to the college for their contribution over the last three seasons.
He said: “On behalf of the West Cornwall Flexi League I am very proud that The FA has recognised Penwith College for their contribution to community sport. Over the past three seasons Penwith College have provided us with top class facilities to host Flexible Football matches.
“This league is like no other in the country; we are the only one that has been set up exclusively for non-Saturday playing footballers. Due to the decline in participation in the grassroots game, the local Junior League has lost more than 30 teams and 700 players in the past eight seasons alone.
“With the help of Penwith College, this league has been able to allow over 800 players (who don’t normally play football) the chance to lace up their boots and have a kick around, which is exactly what the league is here for. There are no trophies or medals, everyone plays for the enjoyment.
“We have seen over 400 of these players move back into the mainstream game which has benefited many of the local clubs who could otherwise face the possibility of collapsing. This would not have been possible without the support of Penwith College so I would like to thank them once again and congratulate them on being recognised by the Football Association for providing sport within the community.”
In addition to Penwith College’s award, Cornwall FA was delighted to present FC Riviera with their Charter Standard status on the night.
Through support from Cornwall FA, The West Cornwall Flexi-League and Riviera Produce, the group of work colleagues/friends, who have players from eight different nationalities, now have kit, equipment and funding which will allow them to continue competing in the league and potentially grow additional flexi-teams in future phases.
Many of their players are now also starting to join/support local Saturday teams, which again shows just how crucial Flexi-Football is becoming in supporting new or lapsed players to get their boots on, join a team and become a part of the football community once again, or maybe for the first time.
Every player within this FC Riviera side did not play any football in Cornwall before joining the league, so Cornwall FA is looking forward to seeing new players, teams, clubs and communities follow this trend and join the Flexi-Football revolution.
Cornwall FA Football Development Officer, Joshua Stockdale, who was in attendance at Penwith College for the two award presentations, commented on the growth of Flexi Football and his hopes for expansion in the future.
He said: “It is fantastic to see Flexi-Football thriving across both the West Cornwall and Cornwall FA divisions within the county.
“Flexi-League teams are becoming a key component of club pathways. They provide an additional opportunity for new, ex or injured players within the club and community to come together on a bi-weekly basis for midweek, floodlit competitive football in a fun environment.
“Many clubs are also creating Flexi-League teams to support the transition of their post-16 players into adult football which continues to be a huge challenge for many clubs as the social and work commitments of 16-18 year olds is always evolving.
“It is also amazing to see more new standalone clubs, such as FC Riviera, being created full of players who, before the Flexi-League, did not have an opportunity to play the game and experience all of the health, mental and social benefits that come from being a part of a team and being active.”
Across the county we have a range of Flexi-Leagues competing at the following venues:
• Penwith College
• Hayle Football Club
• Callywith College
If you are interested in finding a team for this current season OR setting up a Flexi-League team within your club / as a completely new team, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org