Braunton footballers top of the league

North Devon Gazette

Braunton FC Inclusion Team are feeling overwhelmed after winning three regional FA McDonalds Grassroots Football awards and one National award this year.Â

The team, who provide free football and other sporting activities for children and adults with a range of disabilities, are amazed with the huge success and growth their team has experienced this year.Â
The squad won praise for the work they completed during lockdown and were announced winners by footballing legend David James.Â
Braunton coach Mel Benson said: “The whole team came together virtually during lockdowns to support each other and stay safe, stay active and stay connected. Â

“They completed various challenges including walking marathons, The Devon Coast to Coast, Braunton to Mount Blanc virtual event, Mencap All Move and Round the World Challenges, online drills, baking, colouring competitions, writing letters to team-mates and zoom meetings. Â

“Players were also given 10 free activity packs over the year to help them stay safe, active and connected.”Â
Coach Sue Lavander was awarded regional volunteer of the year for her hard work within the local football community.Â

Coach Wendy Benson was awarded both regional and national recognition as Youth coach of the year. She was invited to this year’s charity Shield and received her award from footballing superstar Rachel Yankee, in the presence of Metin Keown and World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst.Â

The whole team were awarded regional Project of the year by David James in a special video message.Â

“The team is like a big family with players, parents, coaches and carers all committed to providing the best opportunities for people within our community,” said Benson. Â

“The awards are fantastic for our small squad and recognise the hard work of everyone concerned. Â

“There are many clubs similar to us within our community but what makes us special is we do everything for free and we offer various experiences which some of our players would never get chance to try, such as playing on the pitch at Southampton FC, Kayaking, wake park, Olympics, rugby, cricket and FootGolf.Â

The team are now looking forward to enjoying the rest of this season, their first in the Devon Ability Counts League.Â