Ryan Giggs urges Welsh football public to nominate grassroots heroes for Welsh Community Football Awards
Nominations are open for 2015 - with Giggs looking forward to recognising the ‘unsung heroes’ of the game in Wales for another year
Wales legend Ryan Giggs has spoken of the importance of grassroots heroes in his own football development as he urges people to provide nominations for the 2015 Welsh Community Football Awards.
The awards, presented by McDonald’s, recognise grassroots clubs and volunteers that dedicate their free time to make sure young people can play and enjoy football.
Whether they paint the lines, make sure the fixture is on or coach a team to glory, the awards - in their eighth year - are open to volunteers of all experience.
Manchester United assistant manager Giggs became McDonald’s Head of Welsh Football last year and handed out awards to winners at the 2014 ceremony which took place before Wales’ Euro 2016 qualifier with Cyprus at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Now, nominations are open for 2015 - with Giggs looking forward to recognising the ‘unsung heroes’ of the game in Wales for another year.
Giggs said: “I think being a part of Sunday league teams and, when I was younger, seeing the good work people do - sometimes voluntarily - means any footballer who has gone on to make a career would like to help.
Lauryn Lyons from Hawarden was presented with the Player of the Year (girl) award by Ryan Giggs and Jayne Ludlow at the The Football Association of Wales (FAW) Community Awards
“I have experienced it first-hand.
“Sometimes these are people who are unsung heroes who have really put in the hours.”
At last year’s awards, Giggs spoke about the influence of his own Sunday league coach Dennis Schofield when he was starting out in the game as a 10-year-old.
He stressed that those who dedicated themselves to coaching and volunteering were essential to ensuring youngsters could enjoy the game they loved, whatever their aspirations.
This year, there are eight award categories: Club of the Year, School of the Year, Community Coach of the Year, Performance Development Coach of the Year, Volunteer of the Year (The People’s Award), Young Volunteer of the Year, Lifetime Achievement and the Grassroots Impact award.
“Both boys and girls get into schemes in the community,” Giggs said.
“I went to the awards for 2014 and all types of people were receiving the awards - old, young, boys, girls - it’s great to see.
“It’s still a big part of British culture. With me being Welsh and the Welsh ambassador, it’s important for me to get down to as many clubs as possible.
“The awards was a great night.
“Not everyone can win but it’s a tough choice to pick out who does win because I’m sure there are hundreds of people worthy of it and it is important they are recognised and can then go on an push on further.”
The Welsh Community Football Awards, presented by McDonald’s are now open. To vote for a football club or volunteer go to www.mcdonalds.co.uk/awards