The gold standard in the best club category of the 2017 UEFA Grassroots Awards was given to St Oliver Plunkett in Northern Ireland.
St Oliver Plunkett, a youth-focused club that uses football as a medium to develop young people from a disadvantaged community in Northern Ireland, has won the gold award for Best Club in the 2017 UEFA Grassroots Awards.
Based in the Lenadoon area of Belfast, the club has given over 500 boys and girls from different backgrounds from the age of four upwards the opportunity to play football together, promoting key values such as respect and fair play.
Football is based on the grassroots, played everywhere by men and women, boys and girls. Football brings wider benefits to society as a whole, as it is not only about football skills, but also about values such as team-work, social development, health, fitness and personal fulfilment. Grassroots football is a vehicle for educational, social and sporting development, and as such, everybody should have the opportunity to get involved in the game. Grassroots football gives everybody that opportunity, no matter what their age, ability, ethnicity, race, religion or sexual identity.
UEFA organises grassroots week in conjunction with the national football associations and the European Union, and supports grassroots projects financially throughout Europe. Through its Grassroots Charter, UEFA is encouraging all national associations to improve and develop their grassroots activities, in order to continually upgrade the standard of grassroots activities. Each national association receives earmarked funding of €150,000 a year to continually develop and improve their grassroots activities.