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Tuesday 23 April 2013

Belfast club co-founder wins Barclays Award

Eddie Mulligan honoured for helping Glendowan FC that keeps kids off streets in West Belfast

Glendowan FC has grown to 160 players since Mulligan co-founded it

The Barclays Community Sports Award for March 2013 has been awarded to Eddie Mulligan for his commitment to grassroots football in Northern Ireland.

Mulligan co-founded Glendowan FC, in Colin, West Belfast, in 2002 to give children from five to 15 the chance to play football and attain life skills through sports participation. Glendowan FC has grown to 160 players and 32 volunteers and Mulligan dedicates at least four nights a week to the club, managing the under-15s team and training the youth academy. Next month he will take 23 players to Denmark for a tournament.

The club also supports players through coaching qualifications and five more members are hoping to complete their FA Level 1 coaching qualification this summer.

"Receiving the Barclays Community Sports Award was such a surprise, and I'm extremely grateful," Mulligan said. "Seeing the club start from nothing and to have watched it develop and keep growing is fantastic. If the kids are into football, they're out of trouble.

"If the kids are into football, they’re out of trouble"
Eddie Mulligan

"We're a community club, and we're only as good as the people involved. At the end of the day it's their club, not mine, and we’ve got such a great team here. It's not just about the football though, we teach the players respect; to respect each other and to respect where we live."

The monthly awards, organised by the Premier League's title sponsor, are delivered in a partnership between Barclays Spaces for Sports, the Premier League's Creating Chances programme and the Football Foundation. They recognise the outstanding contributions to community sport made by individuals across the United Kingdom. Mulligan will go forward to the season-long awards on 3 May at the Haymarket Hotel in London.

"Eddie has made an outstanding contribution to the development of young people in the area," said David Wheldon, Barclays managing director of brand, reputation and citizenship. "He has earned the respect and appreciation of many in the local community, and with this award we hope his work will become known to a much wider audience.

"We want to recognise community champions all over the UK and I hope Eddie's voluntary efforts will inspire other people to get involved in community sport."

Each monthly winner receives £1,000 for their group or organisation, half of which will be spent on skills-based qualifications for members. The winner also receives a limited edition trophy and is entered into the end of season award to win a further £5,000, donated by Barclays Spaces for Sports.

All monthly winners will receive a VIP trip to London in May to an exclusive lunch at the Haymarket Hotel where the season-long winner will be announced and receive their award from Gareth Southgate, who heads up the judging panel with representatives from Barclays, the Premier League, the Football Foundation and The Times.

To nominate a person, group or organisation for the Barclays Community Sports Award of the Month simply visit www.barclayscommunitysportsaward.com.

Past winners

February Manneh Elliott, a coach for Toxteth Tigers Basketball Programme, in Bootle

January Naz Khan, founder of Attock Cricket Club in Mosely, Birmingham

December David Amiet, founder of Coaching for a Safer Community, East Sussex

November Katee Hui, founder of Hackney Laces community football team for girls

October Dawn Whitmore-Kirby, for 32 years' service to disabled horse riding

September Stephen Pullen MBE, for his 50 years' service to British judo

For more information on the winners click here

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Key Points

  • Eddie Mulligan wins Barclays Community Sports Award for March
  • Mulligan honoured for co-founding Glendowan FC in West Belfast
  • Since 2002 the club has grown to more than 160 players and 32 volunteers