0 Finalists announced for 2021 People’s Award at the McDonald’s Irish FA Grassroots Football Awards

The annual McDonald's Irish FA Grassroots Football Awards, which celebrate 21 years in Northern Ireland this year, recognise the incredible work and commitment of grassroots football clubs and volunteers at all levels.

2021 People's Award finalist Dominic Dewart (Chimney Corner FC) with McDonald's Fun Football Ambassador Pat Jennings

Chimney Corner FC coach and committee member Dominic Dewart and lifelong Loughgall FC fan and volunteer Hilbert Willis have been shortlisted as the finalists for the award, which recognises the outstanding contribution made by an individual to grassroots football in their local community and beyond.

The winner of the 2021 People's Award, who will be announced at the national awards ceremony next month, will be determined by the public through online votes via the Irish FA website.

Chimney Corner's Dominic Dewart, who has been coaching in grassroots football for almost three decades, said: "Being recognised is a massive achievement, but it's not just for me, it's for the club. There's been a large team of us that came through the club over the years, and I wouldn't be in this position without their support."

Hilbert Willis, 97, who served Loughgall FC as a groundsman for 30 years and as chairman for almost a decade, commented: "If I win, it would be for the club because I just love the place. It means everything to me. My heart is in it, and it always was. If there is anything happening about the club, there is something wrong if I'm not there."

Northern Ireland legend and McDonald's Fun Football Ambassador Pat Jennings insisted the awards provide a great opportunity to celebrate the fantastic work that takes place at all levels of the grassroots game in Northern Ireland.

2021 People's Award finalist Hilbert Willis (Loughgall FC) with McDonald's Fun Football Ambassador Pat Jennings

"The McDonald's Fun Football programme gives young people across Northern Ireland the chance to keep fit, healthy and active as well as engage with others in the community. However, it wouldn't be possible without the unwavering support of our local grassroots heroes, and I can't wait to celebrate with them in person at the national awards ceremony next month."

Through the McDonald's Fun Football programme more than 75,000 children across Northern Ireland have benefitted from 250,000 hours of coaching, games and fun.

McDonald's recently celebrated the huge milestone of providing five million hours of free Fun Football to children in the UK a year ahead of its 2022 goal, before vowing to offer 1.5 million more hours in the next 12 months.

Online voting for the 2021 People's Award has now opened. For more information and to place your vote, visit: www.irishfa.com/peoplesaward. Online voting will close on Monday 01 November 2021.

You can read the original article from BelfastLive HERE

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