Blackburn Rovers Community Trust are delighted to learn that they've been given the chance to defend their Community Club of the Season title at this year's Ladbrokes Northwest Football Awards, as part of a double nomination for the charity.
At the 2018 ceremony, the charity won the title for the north west's best football club community scheme outside the Premier League and could be set to do even better at this year's event, with their NCS Youth Board being recognised in the Community Initiative of the Year category.
Competition for both accolades - which are supported by the PFA - will be strong. In the 'Community Club of the Season - All Other Leagues' category, Rovers go up against the Championship's Wigan Athletic Community Trust - with whom the award has generally been shared in recent seasons - as well as two schemes representing League One clubs in the form of Bolton Wanderers Community Trust and Tranmere Rovers in the Community. The award recognises the community scheme that the judging panel believes to be the best performer in the region over the course of the previous season; a period in which we delivered 51 projects and enjoyed over 50,000 engagements with local people.
In the 'Community Initiative of the Year' field, competition comes from three club charity concepts - Burnley FC in the Community with 'The Leisure Box', City in the Community's 'City Play' and 'The People’s Place' from Everton in the Community – as well as a player's own charitable organisation, with the Michael Carrick Foundation recognised for Carrick’s Boot Room.
In this category, our NCS Youth Board secured their nomination for the wide range of support that the teenage volunteers offer to local people in our community, with a particular emphasis in the past year on helping those who are homeless or visually impaired, as well as volunteering to help deliver a number of our charity's day-to-day projects and fundraising activities.
The nominees will each discover if they have been successful when they attend the Northwest Football Awards 2019 ceremony on Monday 11th November at The Point; the iconic hospitality location at Emirates Old Trafford cricket ground in Manchester.
Gary Robinson, chief executive officer at Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, is proud to see the charity recognised in two areas, explaining: "We have been remarkably successful at securing nominations and awards over the past couple of years and we're excited at the prospect of potentially returning home from the Northwest Football Awards as winners once again, thanks to these two nominations.
"Our charity has been privileged enough to return from both the Northwest Football Awards with the Community Club of the Season award for our relevant division three times within the past decade, so we're keen to keep that run of success going, and it would be a very well deserved moment if our National Citizenship Service Youth Board can add to their NCS Social Action Stars Award last year with a further trophy from those within the football industry.
"Whilst we don't do what we do for the express purpose of winning awards, it's a very welcome recognition for all of our staff and volunteers when their hard work results in a nomination or a win, as it shows that people from outside the organisation perceive that we're among the best at what we do.
"This can only mean that we're doing something right for the people of Blackburn with Darwen and the surrounding areas, which is exactly what we strive to achieve through our mission statement every time we get out there and put on the many great projects that are clearly very well thought of by people within our industry."