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Everton in the Community Claims Prestigious Prize

Thu 12th May 2011 | Football Industry Events

Everton’s official charity has won a top award at the ‘sporting Oscars’.

Everton in the Community’s disability programme scooped the Best Community Programme category at the 2011 Sport Industry Awards at London’s Battersea Evolution on Wednesday evening, beating Adidas, Manchester City, the Football Foundation, Premiership Rugby and the Cricket Foundation to the accolade.

The Sports Industry Awards, which this year celebrates its tenth anniversary, are attended by the glitterati of the European sporting world and recognise the best sport has to offer across a number of areas including marketing, PR, new media, advertising and community.

Among those present on Wednesday evening were Ricky Hatton, Alan Shearer, James Cracknell, Amir Khan and David Seaman.

The judging panel, which included the BBC’s John Inverdale, paralympian Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson and Alistair Campbell, former chief press secretary to the Prime Minister, said Everton's scheme was 'single minded, highly impactful, and addressed an important social issue.'

The award was collected from Olympic gold medallist Denise Lewis and World Cup winner Geoff Hurst by Steve Johnson, who runs the disability programme and Steven Raynor, Everton in the Community's deputy CEO.
 
Everton in the Community’s disability programme is the largest and most respected in the world, delivering over 10,000 football opportunities for disabled children and adults every year.

Using the power of sport, the Blues’ official charity has engaged with over 17,000 disabled participants and 2,850 in the past year alone on a local, national and international level. There are currently 26 successful disability teams representing Everton, which field a total of eight international players.
 
The dynamic and innovative programme has also achieved the FA Community Club Charter Standard Award, and is being used as a benchmark for other clubs across the country.

Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Chief Executive Officer of Everton in the Community, said: “We are so proud and thrilled to have won the Best Community Programme award for our fantastic disability programme.  Not only does the scheme allow disabled people who wouldn’t normally get the chance to play football, but it gives them the opportunity to make new friends, build self esteem and most importantly have lots of fun!”

“This is the second time we have won this category, which demonstrates the exceptional work Everton in the Community coaches deliver week in week out. On behalf of everyone at Everton I would like to express our gratitude for this award.”

This is the second consecutive year the Blues’ charity has taken home the top award for this category at Europe’s most prestigious sports awards. Last year Everton’s innovative Imagine Your Goals mental health programme came out on top after beating off still competition from Manchester United.

For more information about Everton in the Community visit evertonfc.com/community.

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