Community grassroots football club Omonia Youth FC were last Friday among a select number of winners as the Middlesex FA hosted their annual Grassroots Awards Evening at their Rectory Park headquarters.

The event successfully showcased the work currently performed across the County with Omonia Youth FC recipients of the ‘Respect Award – We Only Do Positive’.

The award was gratefully received by representatives of the club who attended the evening; Chairman Michael Pieri, Co-Vice Chairman Myri Demetriou, Lead Secretary Xenia Acar, Former Vice Chair Chris Mousicos and Coach Development Officer David Poncia.

In all there were 8 awards with each winner introduced by a short video presentation and then invited onto the stage to receive their award.

Omonia Youth FC have worked hard over the last few years to ensure that the young footballers at the club enjoy their football development in a positive and safe environment. Many of the reasons for the award are through encouraging messages and introducing many new initiatives. Former Vice Chair Chris Mousicos, a qualified child wellbeing practitioner, championed and implemented many of the initiatives including ensuring all club managers and coaches are wearing their FA Coaches Badge to all coaching sessions and matches. Chris built a strong and important link with ‘Kick it Out’ after players at the club were racially abused during matches which now sees the club have the ‘Kick it Out’ logo emblazoned on the sleeve of every home kit, indicating the club’s support for the equality and inclusion organisation. For the past two seasons, the club’s young footballers have also benefited from talks from coaches about inclusion, anti-racism and anti-discrimination, something Chris also put together, in addition to organising coaching the coaches sessions, the club’s welfare & safeguarding group, a parents group which has significantly increased the participation of women in the club.

These initiatives, along with consistent positive messages via the club’s twitter feed and website as well as a successful annual tournament with safeguarding and wellbeing as the priority, has seen all the club’s stakeholders benefit from the positive atmosphere at both training and matches.

At the event last Friday, Chairman Michael Pieri said: “The award is very humbling and the club is proud that its efforts to improve the environment for our young footballers is flourishing. I want to say thank you to all our volunteers and to the to the Middlesex FA for this recognition.” (Photo by Chris Benn)

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