Respect: Lostock Hall Juniors FC celebrates £1k grant

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A Lancashire youth football club  has shown it is on top of its game when it comes to one very important goal -  respect.

Lostock Hall Juniors Football Club has been awarded one of 50 £1,000 grants being distributed to grassroots football clubs in the U.K.

The cash has been awarded to the clubs judged to best demonstrate what mutual respect means in football and society.

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The thriving Lostock Hall Club supports 37 teams for yong players, including seven teams for girls.

Lostock Hall Juniors Football team (Under 14 Stripes)  pictured receiving the £1,000 Respect chequeLostock Hall Juniors Football team (Under 14 Stripes)  pictured receiving the £1,000 Respect cheque
Lostock Hall Juniors Football team (Under 14 Stripes) pictured receiving the £1,000 Respect cheque

Judges were impressed by the local reach of the club and the significant emphasis it places on the respect young people show towards each other.

More than 600 applications were sent in for the Mutual Respect grant with clubs asked to outline what respect means to them.

Club Chairman Darryl Cartwright, said: "The club would like to say thank you to Nationwide as this is a huge boost to every player, parent, coach and official. We are overwhelmed by this recognition for our commitment to mutual respect in our community."

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He said the grant would help "support young people on their journey into our national game" and increase local opportunities to access football.

Club Chairman Darryl Cartwright pictured with the £1,000 chequeClub Chairman Darryl Cartwright pictured with the £1,000 cheque
Club Chairman Darryl Cartwright pictured with the £1,000 cheque

The Club has also pledged to use the award to further promote mutual respect at its venues - an initiative to be lead by the Club Welfare Officer and coaches, with further signage, mutual respect logos on team kit and promotion on its social media channels and the club's website.

The building society partnered with the four Football Associations across the UK in three-year deals. The aim is to help foster positivity and respect across grassroots football , helping to create a society built on mutual respect.

Emily Barker, Brand Partnerships Manager at Nationwide, said: “Mutual respect is something that we value at the core of Nationwide in everything we do, so to be able to give these grants to the clubs that need them the most and those that themselves have demonstrated respect on and off the pitch is really exciting. We are looking forward to seeing how grassroots clubs put the money to use and the difference it makes.”

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The club's submission outlined its extensive local reach. It noted that it has "mutual respect running throughout the club’s ethos, policies and procedures. There are 80 volunteers and volunteer coaches at the club, all from different backgrounds, financially, physically and culturally. This helps players feel welcome, represented and provides them with good positive role models."

It continued: "The club has partnered with several charities and organisations to promote mutual respect, not only within the club but in the community and across social media. The club is a Kick It Out Equality Chartered club and also partnered with Don't X The Line, Bullies Out and other organisations.

The club abolished registration fees and keeps subscription fees to a minimum tonallow everyone an opportunity to join and remain at the club, with free membership for those in special circumstances.

The club, which supports local charitites and organisations, caters for players aged five to 18. More than 600 children and young people access training or are in teams and it is starting disability training sessions soon.

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The statement added: "The club promotes fun in a safe, friendly and family oriented environment. LHJFC has respect barriers along the side of each of its ten pitches and each venue has signage reminding attendees to respect coaches, volunteers, players, match officials and visitors."

The popular club was awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in 2018 and the MBE for volunteer groups.

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