Dan Weston, a junior football coach for Peacehaven & Telscombe FC in Sussex, has been announced as the inaugural monthly winner of the Nationwide Mutual Respect Award for January 2021.
The Nationwide Mutual Respect Award, as part of The Football Association's Respect Campaign, aims to help make grassroots football more respectful and positive.
The brand-new awards recognise outstanding contributions, achievements and behaviour in grassroots football across the country by young players under 18, coaches, teams, parents and referees.
The nomination from Dan's community, which helped him to win January’s Nationwide Mutual Respect Award, said: "Dan has been coaching the children from a young age and has 100% commitment to their football development but also other aspects like well-being and social skills.
"During the lockdowns he has done all training via Zoom with the children and set challenges - sometimes twice weekly as he believes this would help them for their well-being - mentally and physically. He awards a player a week for ‘Zoom trainer of the week’ and left a trophy on their doorstep. This has really kept the children’s spirits high during an awful time.
"He also runs the ‘Peacehaven boot locker’ where he collects second hand football boots and equipment, to enable struggling families to access items that they aren’t able to buy brand new. Dan also volunteers a lot of his free time to the football club for other community events, including ‘helping the local feed our children and families’.
"In our area, a lot of children and families rely on free school meals. During the holidays Dan has collected food and supplied the area with food parcels and hot lunches from the club's kitchen.
Dan, 36, said: "It is an absolute thrill to win this Nationwide Mutual Respect Award and I will share it with all the people at our junior football club.
“I believe community football clubs have never been more important to bring people together and help each other through these challenging times."
Dan will not only receive a trophy and the accolade of being the Nationwide Mutual Respect Award winner but also wins tickets to an upcoming England game once fans are allowed back into stadiums.
In addition, the nominator of Dan will receive a signed England shirt.
Nominations are now open on Nationwide’s Facebook page for the February award and anyone over 18 can nominate their ‘grassroots respect hero’.
The nominator must be over the age of 18. Nomination window closes midnight on 21st February 2021.
Nationwide’s target is to engage with one million parents and coaches in the FA Respect programme as a part of their three-year partnership.
For more information please contact The FA: