An award-winning Northumberland junior football club that has doubled in size in the last year is set to kick on again next season thanks to the support of a regional employer.
Seaton Delaval Dynamos FC has set up new U11, U12 and U13 teams in the last 12 months to go alongside its existing U15, U16 and U17 sides in response to a rapid increase in the number of local young people wanting to play the game.
It has also started to offer introductory training sessions for primary school-aged children, with the club paying for some of the players in the higher-aged junior teams to take coaching qualifications to enable them to get involved with running them.
And now, to help it build on the progress that has been made in the last year, the Dynamos have been awarded a £5,000 grant from the Banks Group’s Banks Community Fund which will pay for a wide range of new training and playing equipment.
New nine-a-side and 11-a-side match goals have been bought, while a bespoke training kit including balls, cones, bibs, ladders, poles and carry bags has been purchased for each of the club’s teams, along with some much needed training goals.
Seaton Delaval Dynamos FC was founded by husband and wife team Robert and Anna Milburn in 2009, becoming an FA Charter Standard club within six months and being chosen as FA National Charter Standard Junior Football Club of the Year in 2013
In 2016, it was named as joint national winner in the Grassroots Club section of the FA Respect and Fair Play Awards, an initiative which recognises leagues, clubs and individuals which show outstanding determination to ensure that the game is played in the manner it should be and which put respect, education and participation at the heart of everything they do.
Anna Milburn, secretary and coach at Seaton Delaval Dynamos FC, says: “The club is run on a clear philosophy of fitness, teamwork, respect, fairness and fun, and the awards that we’ve won in competition with much bigger clubs across the country show how we bring this to life in everything we do.
“There’s been a real explosion in the number of children wanting to play for us in the last year, but up until now, we only had limited training equipment which coaches had to share and spend time getting from one session to the next when they’d finished. It was all well used and showing clear signs of wear and tear.
“Our match goals probably only had one more season in them before they became unsafe to use, and replacing them would have been a real burden on our finances, so winning the Banks Group’s backing has taken that worry from our shoulders.
“With each team now having their own set of equipment for which it is responsible, coaches and players can spend more time working on their skills in training sessions, which will hopefully then translate into better performances in matches.”
Jeannie Kielty, community relations manager at the Banks Group, adds: “The volunteer team that runs Seaton Delaval Dynamos has done an amazing job in creating a thriving community football club in just a few short years, and our Community Fund grant will hopefully give them the capacity to do even more great work both on and off the pitch in the years to come.”
The Banks Community Fund provides grants for community groups and voluntary organisations in the vicinity of Banks Group projects.
Anyone interested in applying for funding should contact James Eaglesham at the Banks Community Fund on 0191 378 6342 to check if their group or project is eligible.