06/07/2022

St Agnes AFC presented with Club of the Year 2021 award

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St Agnes AFC chair Mandy Kimmins hopes her club’s 2021 Parasport Club of the Year award will encourage more players to get involved. 

The West Country outfit showcased exemplary work throughout the year, particularly in maintaining social connections between volunteers and players during the pandemic. 

Kimmins, who has been involved with the club for almost two decades, was full of praise for the efforts of her staff and appealed for the spotlight to continue to shine on Parasport. 

She said: “When you meet all the guys today, you can see how much it matters to them. 

“I think the inclusion of players with pan-disabilities is very important and that’s why we were nominated and why we have won this award.

“I hope this award can encourage other people and players to come in and be part of our set up. 

“And I also hope that this will attract other clubs and interest other people in running similar provisions to offer opportunities to more players.” 

The special day on the Cornwall coast was fittingly greeted with sunshine and local pasties. 

Players, parents, volunteers and even local councillors shared in delight for the set up that was awarded last year’s Club of the Year title - powered by Toyota.

St Agnes were among the 11 nominees for the prize having been named as Club of the Month for July 2021.

As well as their work during the pandemic, the West Country outfit were honoured for their pan-disability sessions, with Ellie McNair from Parklands Toyota Truro in attendance to present the award and support St Agnes AFC.

And club chair Kimmins believes they are vital to delivering the highest quality support to their players. 

She added: “I think pan-disability football gives every player, regardless of their ability or disability, an opportunity to be part of something really special. 

“To belong, make friends, to have a social opportunity with people who don’t judge them.

“Footballs’ not for everybody but those that take part in it absolutely love it, they can do as much or as little as they want.

“And if it’s not right for them we can maybe signpost them into other sports that might be.” 

One of the players who regularly takes part in the sessions run by St Agnes at Truro College is James. 

He, like many of his teammates, loves the coaching provided and has also managed to make some good friends during his three years with the team. 

“I love the coaches,” James said. “They’re really enthusiastic and they bring quite a lot of enjoyment too, which makes it fun to attend. 

“Some of the other players are really good as well. 

“I didn't know them at all and I’ve [now] become decent friends with them which is really nice.

“I used to play mainstream football, but kind of didn’t enjoy that so much and I still wanted to play. I found out about disability football with St Agnes and I’ve enjoyed since.” 

Parasport manager Barry Lloyd, also in attendance on the South coast, credited St Agnes for their work within the community and echoed Kimmins’ hopes of inspiring others.

The Club of the Year award aims to shed light on the great work done by clubs up and down the country in creating inclusive opportunities for people to get active.  

“It’s great to see the support that they have in place down here in St Agnes to get their sessions back up and running,” Lloyd added. 

“It’s wonderful to come along and visit the clubs and see what they’re all about.

“Hopefully it’ll inspire more clubs to facilitate inclusion and inclusive sessions so more people with disabilities can come along and enjoy the benefits of sport.” 

Congratulations to St Agnes AFC on their success - if you’d like your club to be considered for a Club of the Month award in 2022, remember you need to register on the Parasport website.

You can add your activities to the site by following one of the below steps:

1. If you use an OpenActive enabled booking system to manage your activities and online bookings, the process is easy - just click here to get taken through the steps.  

2. If you don't use an OpenActive enabled system, or don't use a system at all, you can upload your locations directly to Parasport by registering here