Denise Hicks was presented with a ‘Safeguarding Star’ award by Sheffield and Hallamshire FA and the Football Association at England’s clash with Serbia at Doncaster Rovers’ Keepmoat Stadium.
Denise, a club welfare officer for Maltby Juniors and the league welfare officer for the Sheffield and District Under 18s league, was presented with the award on the pitch at half-time by Brian Jones, Sheffield and Hallamshire FA chairman, and Sue Hough, chairperson of the Women’s Committee, and received an ovation from the 4,000 supporters.
The award was commissioned to recognise the role that welfare officers play across sport and to ensure that vital standards in safeguarding are maintained and raised.
There are currently over 11,000 welfare officers throughout the country who all volunteer their time to help promote and develop safeguarding values.
James Hope-Gill, chief executive of the Sheffield and Hallamshire FA, said: “Denise gives many hours of her time to help support grassroots football.”
“She does a fantastic job and is a real inspiration to us all.”
“Without people like Denise grassroots football simply wouldn’t exist.”
“We are delighted that she has won this national award and is receiving recognition for her dedication and commitment to the game we love.”
A modest Denise added: “I always remember that the aim is to provide a fun and safe environment for young people to play football.”
“I would encourage anyone interested in becoming a club welfare officer, youth league welfare officer or children’s safeguarding officer to get in touch with the club, league or County FA welfare officer.”
If you are interested in becoming a safeguarding or welfare officer contact Clare Taylor, Sheffield and Hallamshire FA welfare officer, on 0114 2414992 or email [email protected]