Brighton & Hove Albion have invited Hollingbury Hawks Youth Football Club team to get kitted up and support today’s Barclay’s FA Women’s Super League fixture as ball retrievers, to celebrate the Under-11s team’s achievement of winning the Sussex County Women & Girl’s Football League Respect award last season.
Hollingbury Hawks Youth FC play in the Sussex County Women & Girls’ Football League, a league that has collaborated with Brighton & Hove Albion to enable clubs such as Hollingbury Hawks to attend today’s fixture by allowing the SCWGFL clubs to be flexible with fixtures times.
This could not have been achieved without the backing from the chair of the Sussex County Women & Girls’ Football League, Cameron Cox.
“In a COVID-disrupted season, where the season’s trophy events couldn’t be completed, the SCWGFL U11 section presented Respect awards instead,” Cameron explained.
“All clubs were asked to nominate the team which most embodied the principles of the FA Respect Code to create a positive matchday experience for all involved. Our winners were Hollingbury Hawks who are here today as matchday ball retrievers as part of their award.”
Many in the game agree that collaboration is a vital ingredient for growing young people’s love for football, including Justine Thomson, Albion’s women’s football recreational officer.
“What makes the Women’s and Girls’ game so special is our desire to collaborate and grow together,” she said.
“Today’s match is a glowing example of how three organisations came together to provide an opportunity for young grassroots players to experience a top-flight Women’s football game without losing the opportunity to play themselves.
“I believe that this forward-thinking approach in Sussex will set the example moving forward.”
Brighton & Hove Albion Women’s team looks forward to continuing their work with local football leagues and councils to ensure football remains a game for everyone.
Women & Girls’ general manager at Brighton & Hove Albion, Polly Bancroft, added, “We’re really keen to engage with our local community. We recognise the power that role models have to girls and boys, and to be able to connect with them through mutually beneficial partnerships is something we’re really keen to develop.
“We’d like to congratulate Hollingbury Hawks Youth FC on winning the Respect award and hope they all enjoy Sunday’s match.”
A big welcome to all SCGWFL clubs attending today!