Cornwall FA were delighted to visit St Newlyn East AFC over the weekend to present Jonathan Grigg with the Grassroots Volunteer of the Year Award as part of the FA and McDonald’s Grassroots Awards 2021.
The Volunteer of the Year Award recognises volunteers who have a significant impact within their club, contributing to an environment that brings joy to the local community.
Jonathan has always taken an interest in football with memories of watching his brother and father starting his journey which has since seen him support and volunteer within St Newlyn East AFC. When asked about his journey within the club, Jonathan explained, “In the mid 90’s my brother returned to live in our childhood village home of St Newlyn East and re-joined the village team. I began to support the club once more and became rather an "ultra" finding myself at far-flung grounds across the County in all weathers and soon realising that St Newlyn East AFC were "my team" - not any Premiership or League clubs - something I have always taken pride in (to the surprise of many!).
In the mid-2000's I started my involvement with the clubs' committee by taking on the role of Treasurer. This quickly expanded into other roles - cutting the pitch, marking the lines, helping out with preparing matchdays. I quickly developed a knack for raising the club profile and took a keen interest in our fundraising, sponsorships and other income streams. I eventually took on the Secretary role and was involved in player registrations, fixture confirmations and general club administrations”
After a brief spell away form the club, Jonathan re-joined the club committee as Club Secretary and Treasurer along with his brother joining as the 1st team manager. Jonathan added, “We had a dream of returning the club to its formal glories and reforming our local community connections, links to local businesses and becoming, simply, the best club we could be at our level. The past 5 years have seen a rebirth of the club, culminating in a fantastic (although COVID-affected) last year seeing us reach a Junior Cup semi-final, gain promotion to the ECPL and play our first cup final for over a decade. I've been able to contribute to raising the most amount of income ever seen by our club through grants, donations and sponsorships, allowing us to build new facilities, improve our pitch, receive new equipment and build wonderful relationships locally and nationally with everyone that supports us both financially and emotionally”.
Jonathan expressed his joy at being involved in helping the club grow and develop and when asked what winning the award meant to him he said, “It is fantastic, personally, to know that people had nominated me for this award - I had no idea this had happened! So when the email came through saying I had won I was totally gob-smacked! I know that across the County - and Country - there are hundreds/thousands of people like me that care for, help run and support their local club in a very involved way. To be singled out for this award makes me very proud of our achievements here at St Newlyn East and hope it helps other volunteers elsewhere realise they are not alone in dedicating their spare time to such a cause”.
Cornwall FA would like to congratulate Jonathan on winning the Grassroots Volunteer of the Year 2021.