Ebbsfleet United ladies & girls team – Tara Smith receiving her Kent FA award last night for Outstanding Contribution to Community Football from QPR player Shaun Derry
Volunteers from across the Kent football community were honoured last night at a special event held at Maidstone United FC’s Gallagher Stadium.
The Kent FA Football Workforce Awards aim to recognise and reward people who make a difference to grassroots football in their community – the people who dedicate their time to developing tomorrow’s young talent and help ensure safety and best practice in of thousands of clubs in Kent.
Kent FA’s Lee Suter said “These awards offer a chance to all those involved in grassroots football to shout about the person, or team of people that have made a real difference to their experience whilst playing or just being involved in the beautiful game.”
“The award ceremony is a celebration of all that is good about football. The winners are just a handful of the 15 thousand volunteers across Kent who give up their time for the good of Kent football.”
Kent FA Chairman Barry Bright thanked the volunteers, saying ” Kent FA has come so far to provide opportunities for everyone who wants to play football in the county – regardless of their age or ability. But we have only achieved this through the efforts of the wonderful volunteer workforce, some of whom are here tonight.
“Thank you for all of the work you are doing. Long may it continue for the good of the game.”
Club Statement supporting the award nomination
Tara had been instrumental in setting up the new girls section at Ebbsfleet United Youth Club, and the development and thriving section we have today is genuinely due to her hard work and commitment over the past 6 seasons
Ebbsfleet United have had a boys youth section and a ladies team since 1998, 6 seasons ago the club committee made the commitment to develop a girls section, so began to set up extra training sessions and promote for players.
Tara first came along to a girls taster session with her daughter who was U11 at the time 6 seasons ago, and immediately volunteered to help get a team started, in that first season we started with an U11 side, and Tara became secretary as well as asst coach, designated driver, attended league meetings, organised pitches, referees and finance as just a few roles!!, and for someone new to the game she took to this role with a huge amount of enthusiasm and learnt very quickly.
Over the seasons the section continued to grow at a rate of nearly a team per season, driven by Tara’s desire to make our club a great place for young players to learn and grow, we can now boast 6 youth teams from U10 – U16s
I don’t want to miss anything out that Tara has done for this club but there is so much, there has never been any mountain she cant climb to simply make football available for girls to play including fundraising like organising bag packing at local supermarket, getting in sponsorship for kits, treasurer, parent liaison, league rep, child welfare, organising pitches and referees for all sections, and amazingly I don’t think in the 6 seasons she has missed either a training session or a match, she is truly inspirational and one in a million at our club