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Teacher honoured by FA at St George's Park

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Teacher Wayne Baldacchino of Eastbury Comprehensive School in Barking has been given recognition at an awards ceremony at the home of the FA, St George's Park.

Wayne was highly commended in the 'Outstanding Adult Volunteer' category at the Park, which celebrated a year since it's opening this wee.

Football Futures, for which the teacher volunteers, targets students in years 7-13 and develops them into young leaders, working in partnership with Sports Leaders UK, the Youth Sport Trust, Sport England, schools, FA Charter Standard Clubs and other organisations and agencies. 

Speaking of the programme, Wayne said "Seeing so many youngsters involved in the development of grassroots football, and being recognised for their outstanding contribution, is superb."

"They are brilliant young people. I was by far the oldest person to receive an award and it inspires me to continue knowing that the next generation do care and are prepared to give up hours and hours of their own time to ensure things continue to go from strength to strength. The award was totally unexpected. St George's Park is amazing and my Eastbury colleagues Steve Hamberger and Kerry Ward also had a great time."

In late June, Baldacchino was involved in "the biggest sporting achievement in Eastbury history" as he helped their Under 14s bring silverware back from the 2013 FA National Youth Futsal Festival in Birmingham. The finals showcased the best young teams from around the country and, potentially, some of the nation's future stars. He also volunteered at the successful Essex County FA 'England Football Day' festival earlier in the month.

Essex County FA Senior Football Development Officer Nick Emery has closely observed some of Wayne's achievements in recent times, and he accompanied him at St George's Park for the occasion. Nick wished to add his personal congra­tula­tions, explaining: "Wayne has put in an incredible amount of work and he thoroughly deserves his recognition."

"He's an excellent example for anyone wishing to run a leadership programme through their club or school. Wayne seemed to enjoy the awards ceremony, which was a brilliant event at an incredible venue. Ideally we'd like more people like Wayne to contact us to see how they can become involved with Football Futures so we can inspire future generations."

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