ST Martins AC were awarded the Specsavers fair play award which links with the Football Association’s national respect programme. The local club has over 200 minis and youth players, and provides football across 42 age groups and teams.
Developed after extensive research into youth football, the respect programme was launched in 2008 as an initiative aimed at improving behaviour around the grassroots football game. Identifying that 9 in 10 children play better with positive encouragement, it also highlighted the negative connotations that can arise for children when faced with negative experiences in sport.
GFA chief executive officer and director, Gary Roberts said ‘We have a reputation of great sportsmanship in the island and this award is a way of recognising exemplary behaviours. It is great to see St Martins claim this award, highlighting the positive behaviours amongst players, coaches, and spectators.
We hope that this award will continue encouraging all clubs to play the game the way it’s meant to be played, and to reward the ones that already do that.’
Dame Mary Perkins, Specsavers co-founder endorses the programme saying ‘Our island has a great selection of sport on offer and it’s important that respect and fair play is a key part of their learning. We’re very proud to be sponsoring this award, and well done to St Martins for being this year’s winners.’
The Specsavers fair play award is aimed at recognising those clubs that best reflect the respect program whilst also rewarding positive behaviours, whilst maintaining the right environments for young players which support fun, safe and inclusive experiences.