In a celebration of the power of EFL Clubs in their communities across England and Wales, a number of Clubs and players were recognised and celebrated at Parliament for their outstanding work in the community on Tuesday.
With roughly one in four attendances at sporting events in this country being at an EFL match, EFL Clubs sit at the heart of their communities both geographically and emotionally. Football Clubs represent much more than the 90 minutes on the pitch - they engage, influence and positively change the lives of hundreds of thousands of people every year.
As regional winners of the Your Move Community Club of the Season, six EFL Clubs were selected for their exceptional work in their local communities and recognised for their outstanding impact over the past year. Each of the Clubs has made a significant difference to the lives of people living in their local areas, through projects designed to tackle societal issues such as loneliness, food poverty and education, amongst others.
Three Clubs - one per division - were also recognised for their outstanding work in delivering a specific, innovative and most impactful project that has had a positive impact on their local community, while three players - also one per division - were recognised for going above and beyond and their exceptional work in their local communities.
- 2022 Your Move Community Club of the Season winners
- 2022 Community Project of the Season winners
- 2022 PFA Player in the Community winners
Hosted by BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Rachel Burden, winning Clubs were honoured at the annual EFL Community Awards - a special event at the House of Commons.
Guests and Club representatives gathered on the River Thames as winners were celebrated and given the opportunity to showcase some of the outstanding work delivered in their local communities. Participants whose lives have been positively impacted by such work from their local football Club and Club Community Organisation were also invited to share their stories.
Speaking at the House of Commons, EFL Chief Executive Trevor Birch said: “It was a fantastic event showcasing the amazing work done by Clubs and their Community Trusts. This is what the EFL is all about and these kind of events recognise the activities undertaken by our Clubs 365 days a year.
“But not only that, these types of events really show the wider audience the impact that football has in its local communities. As a sport, football touches so many aspects of community lives that other social institutions can’t reach and, if I think back to when I first started in football, yes there were community schemes being run, but the reach these programmes now have is extraordinary and the impact they are having on so many more people is huge and should be celebrated.”
Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston MP added: “It’s great to have Clubs and their Club Community Organisations in Parliament once again.
“It’s important that we say thank you and acknowledge the work they do day in, day out in communities up and down the country. It’s great to have a mixture of Parliamentarians, football fans, Clubs, staff and participants in attendance so we can celebrate some real successes and some incredible personal stories as well.
“I continue to witness some incredible projects from people and Clubs who are doing incredible things for their local communities. We should never take that for granted and I’d like to say thank you to every single one of them for their continued work.”
The overall winner for each category will be announce at the annual EFL Awards ceremony on Sunday 24 April.
The 2022 winners are listed below:
North East and Yorkshire – Middlesbrough
North West – Blackpool
Midlands – Derby County
South East and East – Milton Keynes Dons
London - AFC Wimbledon
South West and Wales – Plymouth Argyle
Championship - Preston North End
.@pnefc has been awarded the @SkyBetChamp's 2022 Community Project of the Season with its innovative project supporting members of its local community marking Ramadan and Eid.#EFL | #EFLAwards pic.twitter.com/SP73EzqUAx— EFL (@EFL) April 19, 2022
League One – Burton Albion
.@burtonalbionfc has been acknowledged by the @SkyBetLeagueOne 2022 Community Project of the Season for its success in supporting the NHS at the Burton Albion Vaccination Centre during the pandemic.#EFL | #EFLAwards pic.twitter.com/HczCztyrjS— EFL (@EFL) April 19, 2022
League Two – Swindon Town
.@Official_STFC's ‘Project Me’ mentoring initiative launched in response to the pandemic to support children with mild-to-moderate mental health concerns has won the @SkyBetLeagueTwo's 2022 Community Project of the Season.#EFL | #EFLAwards pic.twitter.com/lthWmrTyFJ— EFL (@EFL) April 19, 2022
Championship – Billy Mitchell, Millwall
League One – Ryan Inniss, Charlton Athletic
League Two – Omar Beckles, Leyton Orient