County FA Recognition Awards

Northumberland FA Shortlisted for Four 2023 County FA Recognition Awards




Northumberland Football Association [FA] has been successfully shortlisted for four awards at the 2023 County FA Recognition Awards this includes: Equality Diversity & Inclusion (100% Inclusive), Positive Football Environment (Respect & Reward), Special Recognition (‘Grassboots’ Kit & Boot Recycling) and Youth Engagement (Create Your Own Football Club).


The Awards, which will be announced at Wembley Stadium connected by EE on Thursday 23 November 2023, 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 which will be recognised at the awards were:


  • Brand Engagement
  • Coach Development
  • Employee Wellbeing & Engagement
  • Equality, Diversity & Inclusion
  • Facility Development
  • Football Development
  • Partnership
  • Positive Football Environment
  • Referee Development
  • Special recognition
  • Women & Girls
  • Youth Engagement


Northumberland FA has made the final shortlist for their ‘100% Inclusive’ campaign which is focused on developing a culture in Grassroots Football that is positive, inclusive and supportive, helping all participants to reach their full potential through providing equal opportunities. Their Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy focuses on 3 key areas; support for those suffering from poor mental health, support for those in low socio-economic areas and to increase participation for ethnically marginalised communities, which were created from a direct result of the research conducted into the equality profile of football in our area.

Positive Football Environment is another category Northumberland FA have been shortlisted for. NFA’s ‘Respect and Reward’ Scheme was introduced to give reward and recognition to the teams that make grassroots football a positive and enjoyable experience for all. Respect marks are given by match officials for the behavior and conduct of a team’s players, coaches and spectators, allowing Northumberland FA to recognise those teams making a positive environment.

Northumberland FA have also been shortlisted for an award in the Special Recognition category for their ‘Grassboots Kit & Boot Recycling.’ This initiative has seen NFA partner with Grassboots to ensure children facing financial pressures have the boots and kit they need to keep playing football. This scheme has grown massively in such a short period of time, with over 10 donation points across the county and huge numbers of donations being made weekly.

The final award NFA have been shortlisted for is the Youth Engagement award for their work they have done with schools with a project named ‘Create Your Own Football Club.’ The vision for this project was to promote the various career opportunities in football and help children to understand the vast range of roles available and how they link to the skills and knowledge they acquire in school. The aim of this project was to also cover subjects within the national curriculum in a fun and engaging manner, to allow them to inspire the children to embrace and focus on their education, through lived experiences.

 Andrew Cook CEO, Northumberland FA said: 

 "We are humbled to be recognised in 4 categories at the upcoming County FA Recognition Awards. To be shortlisted in so many categories is testament to the hard work, innovation and dedication of the work undertaken by all at Northumberland FA. Part of our vision is to utilise football to inspire and create opportunities for all – we firmly believe our four nominated projects strike at the very heart of what our vision is trying to achieve.  We are up against some incredible projects, which have been implemented by colleagues at fellow County FAs and is further evidence of the talent within the CFA network which tirelessly supports the grassroots game – well done to all those nominated, and we look forward to celebrating our collective success in November.


The FA’s Head of Operations for Grassroots Football, Tim Foster added:

“I’d like to congratulate Northumberland FA in making the final shortlist for the EDI Award, the Positive Football Environment award, the Special Recognition award and the Youth Engagement award and all of the other shortlisted County FAs in what has been a record-breaking number of submissions this year.


It has been fantastic to see such a strong selection of programmes and projects entered across the twelve categories, and we look forward to hosting our County FAs at Wembley Stadium in November to thank them for all they do in serving our national game.”

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