Aylsham's double sports celebration

The sporting community in Aylsham held a celebration to mark the achievements of the town's football club and high school.In recent times, Aylsham FC has attained the FA Charter Standard Community Club Award, while Aylsham High School has been recognised as the winner of the Regional FA Charter Standard School Award.

The sporting community in Aylsham held a celebration to mark the achievements of the town's football club and high school.

In recent times, Aylsham FC has attained the FA Charter Standard Community Club Award, while Aylsham High School has been recognised as the winner of the Regional FA Charter Standard School Award.

And perhaps more importantly, the extensive work that has contributed to achieving these awards has had a positive impact on many youngsters in the community, helping to not only develop footballers and coaches, but rounded individuals with significant future potential.

The FA Community Club Award is the pinnacle of FA titles, showing a high quality, multi-team set-up with excellent social, training and playing opportunities for all. Criteria includes qualified coaches and volunteers, a football development plan, providing a minimum of 10 teams including women's and girls' teams, as well as playing a set role within the community.


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Chris Gowman, chairman of Aylsham FC, said: “This has been a fantastic year for Aylsham Football Club.

“Thanks to the efforts of everyone involved at the club we have managed to merge ladies', men's, boys' and girls' football all within the same club, held competitions to design our new emblem and kit and achieved FA Community Club status.

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“We see the club as a focal point in our community, trying to get as many people as possible involved and want to develop to become one of the most successful clubs in the county.”

The Regional FA Charter Standard School Award recognises Aylsham High School's strong football programme, which even incorporates its own academy.

With close links to the local club, the school also offers students the chance to experience new countries and cultures with their biannual football tours to locations such as Bilbao, Milan and most recently, Villarreal.

“We are extremely proud that our school has been recognised at this level,” added school development manager Vannessa Scargill.

“Mark Woods and Simon Claxton, as PE teachers, have very high expectations of pupils involved in football and this award is a testament to their commitment. Our partnership with Aylsham Football Club is very important and we are delighted to be sharing success with them.”

To mark the achievements, the high school hosted a special presentation ceremony last week where Simon Woodbridge, leader of Broadland District Council, handed out awards for the young people who won the Aylsham FC competition to design their new club badge and kit.

There was also a range of activities and demonstration games involving players from the football club's boys' and girls' youth teams and led by Norfolk FA coaches and young leaders from the high school's football academy.

On top of all that, food made by Year 10 food technology students using local produce was provided to the 150 assembled guests.

Shaun Turner, Norfolk FA chief executive, said: “The recent achievements of Aylsham Football Club and Aylsham High School are simply fantastic. Achieving these FA Charter Standard Awards is fully deserved for their commitment and dedication to grassroots football in Norfolk.

“It's great for the county to have another club holding the FA pinnacle award, as well as for one of our schools to be leading the way regionally, and long may the good work continue.”

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