A football club near Lisburn in Co Antrim, is celebrating success after scooping a prestigious environmental and community award, the Biffa Awards 2013.
Crewe United Football and Social Club was today named as winner of the ‘Recreation’ category for their ‘Crewe United Sports Zone’ project. Competing against recreation facilities from across the UK, the club received £2,000 in prize money, which they can use to further develop their project. In addition to winning a category prize, and having impressed Biffa Award’s independent judges, the project fought off tough competition from the winners of the other four categories to be crowned the overall winner for 2013, securing them a further £1,000 in prize money.
Administered by the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts, Biffa Award awards grants to environmental and community projects, using landfill tax credits donated by Biffa Group Ltd. Each year, the people transforming their communities and improving the environment through Biffa Award projects are recognised at the Biffa Awards ceremony. This year more than 240 recently completed projects competed to win a prize in one of five categories – Recreation, Cultural Facilities, Community Buildings, Small Grants, and Rebuilding Biodiversity.
Crewe United is synonymous with football in Northern Ireland and the club name is now widely recognised both at home and abroad. The club based near Lisburn in Co Antrim has risen from humble beginnings and is now considered one of Ireland’s most progressive football clubs. Throughout the troubled history of Northern Ireland, Crewe has been a leading light in showing that sport can bring a commonality and shared interest that no other medium, and very few other clubs, could provide.
Over the past 30 years the club has worked hard to encourage more local people to take up sports, but due to limited facilities began to find itself unable to meet the growing demand. In 2011 the club was gifted a piece of land adjacent to the main facility with the remit to build a second multi-use sports pitch to be dedicated specifically to use by schools, youth clubs and sports clubs. With funding from Biffa Award, the club constructed a new sports pitch that has enhanced sporting activity and resulted in weekly user numbers topping 950, and an additional 20 groups now using the club.
This year’s Awards were held today at the ThinkTank Birmingham Science Museum. The theme for the Awards was ‘Stronger Together, and sought to celebrate the people behind the projects that are helping to build and rebuild their local communities in these difficult economic times.
Gillian French, Biffa Award Programme Manager, said:
“The Biffa Awards are a unique opportunity to celebrate and reward the dedicated people who are delivering some of the excellent projects we have funded. All of our projects deserve recognition for the work they do, but we are delighted for the Crewe United on their double success at this year’s Awards. Through this project, their inspirational work has improved not only their local environment but also had a profound and lasting impact on the local community.”