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Sir Geoff Hurst: Fighting Fit Football is the FA's Grassroots Project of the the Year 2022!

Sir Geoff announces the news!

We are absolutely delighted and honoured that Fighting Fit Football have been selected as the national award winner of England Football's (the FA) Grassroots Project of the Year 2022 in recognition of our work with the Parkinson's community.

This came as an absolute surprise most especially as we were made aware of this incredible news via a recorded video from Sir Geoff Hurst, England's 1966 World Cup winning hatrick hero. The video was shared with us during a filming & photography event organised by the FA at our base in Watford FC's training ground. The FA filmed our training session and the resulting video was shared with the other category winners at the Grassroots Football Awards ceremony at the Community Shield on 30th July 2022 at Leicester's King Power stadium (more on that to follow).

The England Football and McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards are split into ten categories, and the public nominate the people who think deserve national recognition. Each County FA (there are 50) then select a winner for each of the categories from those nominations. Following our nomination, we were chosen by Hertfordshire FA to go forward for consideration as a national winner, and after a rigorous selection process against 49 other worthy projects, Fighting Fit Football were chosen by a FA national judging panel as overall winners of Grassroots Project of the Year 2022.

The Grassroots Project of the Year category is for new, innovative football-based projects, such as those engaging with hard-to-reach groups or groups of people who find exercise and football in particular hard to access; this includes groups of people managing their mental health or people with a physical impairment (such as Parkinson's) but also covers BAME groups, 40+ females, etc. So undoubtedly all 50 winners are worthy projects that deserve recognition locally and nationally for the incredible work they undertake in their communities and we congratulate them for being chosen by their local FA.

None of this would have been possible without the help from everyone involved at the Club these last 3 years: to Watford FC's Community Sports & Education Trust proving us with weekly access to their exceptional training facilities; to the friends and family who helped us during our first tentative steps, many of whom still help as volunteers; to our incredible coach Matt Penn who has provided a constant source of training drills, enjoyment and support to our community from the very beginning; and of course to the players with Parkinson's for making the first brave steps to register with Fighting Fit Football and who constantly amaze and inspire us with their commitment, determination and belief, week in week out. We are stronger together, as the Fighting Fit Family.

To these people we are deeply indebted and this award is in recognition of their support, hard work and commitment to Fighting Fit Football.

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