London Sport Awards 2021 Winner: The Enhancing the Workforce Award - Tigers Junior Football Club
TIGERS Junior Football Club are continuing to roar in the capital after celebrating a ‘sublime’ gong at the London Sport Awards.
Spearheaded by chairman Keith Di Palma, the club have changed the game when it comes to grassroots football and have now been recognised for their efforts with The Enhancing the Workforce Award, in association with Chipotle.
Tigers JFC, based at Bretons Outdoor Centre in south Hornchurch, were crowned winners ahead of The ACE Programme Charity and StreetGames for the award at the high-profile event at the Guildhall.
The club have revolutionised grassroots sport in the region and after setting up their trailblazing Futures programme in 2014, have provided a crucial lifeline for young football fanatics with a passion for coaching and refereeing.
Tigers have already trained more than 20 young people to be qualified referees and Di Palma, 53, hopes their richly deserved success can be a springboard for even further growth in the future.
He said: "To have it recognised is just sublime.
“In our area we are looked up to within our local counties looking after us, thinking and saying how well we’ve done and for them – and this is the icing on the cake.
“Even getting nominated we were over the moon with, but this spirals other clubs to look into how we get our young leaders, our youngsters to keep them off the streets.
“It recognises us getting them the independence, the motivation and the confidence at 14-16 years old to be able to coach and referee, which is a daunting task, as well to get them out and about when they’re getting to the latter part of their playing days to carry on in football.”
Over the last five years, the annual London Sport Awards, in association with the City of London Corporation, has grown to become the biggest celebration of grassroots and community physical activity and sport in the city.
And this year’s showpiece event once again recognised, celebrated, and shone a light on the stories of the incredible individuals, groups, and organisations for their outstanding work across the capital, helping Londoners of all ages and backgrounds to be physically active.
Rachael Weseloh, European Marketing Manager of Chipotle, the sponsor of The Enhancing the Workforce Award, said: “It’s really amazing to be able to support all of these wonderful people and organisations who are supporting sport in London and making that happen across the capital.
“The last year has been so tough so to see people excel in that time has been amazing.
“As a brand, a healthy lifestyle is something we try to do and that flows into how people live their lives as well.
“To be a part of Tigers’ journey is amazing - the enthusiasm behind the daily activities has been immense. They really advocate to put the positive impact of sport through life.”
Colin Walker of British Cycling, a judging panel member for the Awards, added: “Words fail me. As a judge, it was an honour to read all the applications of the amazing work in London.
“It was awe inspiring to see the amount of time and people that volunteer and commit to get more people to get involved in sport.
“The decision was tough but seeing Keith and his team walk up and achieve the award was such a great moment.”