One of Middlesex FA’s accredited clubs – Southall Athletic, received welcome news from UK Global, official insurance partner of MFA, by winning a grant from the Allianz Sports Fund that will be used to help the continued development of the club. We speak to Club Secretary, Dave Hayes, about the club’s journey to date and how the money will be used.
Southall Athletic were formed in 2019 to help give residents of the local area an opportunity to play football across youth and adult teams. Spearheaded by Club Secretary Dave Hayes, the club has been proud to achieve England Football Accredited status and are working their way towards 2 star accreditation in the season ahead.
With 6 youth teams and an adult male side playing in season 2023/24, the aim is to expand to include both women’s and disability pathways for players in Southall and beyond.
As Dave explains: “Achieving England Football Accreditation is crucial for our club as it reflects our ongoing commitment to maintaining the highest standards in coaching, governance and player welfare. It ensures that we adhere to best practices and offer a safe, structured environment for our members. It gives parents the confidence when picking us as the club their child will attend and it also gives players confidence knowing that they are joining a club that adheres to the guidance issued by the FA.”
After several seasons of growth and success, the club were recognised for their progress by receiving a nomination from UK Global as part of the affiliation process which all clubs in grassroots football must complete. With the new Club Portal system being used during the summer of 2023, as The FA integrate new systems to make life for Club Officials easier, Southall Athletic were one of the first Middlesex clubs to complete the process including all their insurance requirements.
Speaking about the affiliation process, Dave commented: “This year’s affiliation was so simple as all of the hard yards were done last year through the whole game system. The Club Portal system really helps us to streamline and retain all our information in one place but now we are continuing to lay further bricks on the excellent foundations created by our club chairman Mr Ajay Gore., The insurance part was easy and user friendly and we are so glad we switched to it from our previous provider.”
As the official insurance partner of Middlesex FA, UK Global were on hand throughout the process to answer any questions around level of cover or advice on any claims that are required to be made during the season.
Fiona Lavery from UK Global picks up the story: “UKGlobal, a long-standing grassroots football insurance broker, formed a partnership with Middlesex County FA in 2020, providing both liability and personal accident insurance cover for affiliated clubs and teams.
"As a broker partner of insurers, Allianz Insurance plc, UKGlobal can nominate clubs that might especially need funds to pursue specific objectives. The Allianz Sports Fund awards grants to grassroots sports clubs of between £500 and £3,000 to successful applicants.
"We nominate several clubs from their partnership County FAs and have seen three clubs receiving awards, most recently Southall Athletic, a Middlesex FA club.
"Successful clubs were ones that showed the funds awarded would positively impact on the members of the club or the local community either through funding expansion of teams/members or providing equipment. Funds have been used by successful clubs to extend their membership to include different genders, those from low-income communities or for those with disabilities.”
The first class service and support allows a very productive partnership and the additional sports fund award is a real bonus which Southall Athletic have now benefitted from.
Reacting to the new, Dave said: “Discovering we had been awarded the Allianz Sports Fund grant brought excitement to the entire club. Especially in the current financial climate, support such as this plays a vital role in sustaining and advancing our projects and laying the groundwork for future initiatives. The awarded funds will be carefully used to support our club's growth, in particular we plan to expand our age ranges in the new year. This financial boost ensures we're well prepared for this expansion, aiding in player development, getting needed equipment and improving our facilities overall.”
So there you have it, a real good news story that will help the club go from strength to strength. To see if your club could become England Football Accredited and be considered for the Allianz Sports Fund next season, read more about Accreditation here.
For more information around the Affiliation process, click here.
To find out more about the Allianz Sports fund, visit their website.