2015: year in review | Norwich City Community Sports Foundation

Story added: 31st December 2015

Looking back on twelve months at the Foundation

From new partnerships and new beginnings, inspirational moments with fundraisers, volunteers and our programme participants and, of course, the dawn of Run Norwich – it has been another memorable year for the Community Sports Foundation.

We’ve picked out just a few of the events and moments that made up our year:


City goalkeeper John Ruddy was a special guest at a Street Life Soccer tournament to cheer on the Norwich City representative side. He reflected: “These boys have had a tough time for one reason or another. They need someone to take that chance with them and CSF have done that.” In 2015, 50 vulnerably housed participants on the course were progressed to independent living.

Over 150 students from CSF partner schools visited Carrow Road for Premier League Enterprise workshopsand a Q&A with Norwich City FC CEO David McNally, as part of CSF’s Inspiration Day.


‘Que Sera, Sera’ was in the air as St. Augustine’s Primary won the CSF Schools Cup. From fifty schools that entered, the primary school clinched the ultimate prize: the chance to don City’s yellow and green and play for a place at Wembley at the national Football League Tournament.

Elsewhere, six CSF futsal scholars were chosen to represent South-East England at the iconic Copper Box Arena in London after impressing for Norwich City in the Football League Trust Futsal League, and Ormiston Venture Academy became the eighth official CSF Community Hub to be launched in Norfolk.


Norwich City players showed their support for Community Week, the club’s annual celebration of CSF and its partners’ work in the community. The week concluded with a ground collection and a half-time pitch parade at Carrow Road for the Down’s Syndrome Football team. Our disability programmes have helped 580 adults and children this year.

Some of Norfolk’s youngest and brightest business minds battled it out at our Premier League Enterprise Challenge, with students from six local high schools invited to present their ideas to a panel of ‘dragons’. Open Academy’s fresh ideas on how to increase the numbers of families attending matchdays saw them picked to represent Norwich City FC in the regional heats.


A team of four fundraisers, led by Adam Drury, took to the streets of the capital for this year’s London’s Marathon, raising over £10,000 for the Foundation. The former club captain, and CSF ambassador, clocked in with a time of 03:42.52.

At the annual Football League Awards evening, the Foundation was awarded with the Community Club of the Year Award for the East region.


May means Jamie’s Game and, once more, the stars were on show for our annual celebrity football match. Over 9,500 were at Carrow Road for the fundraiser, with young Jamie Abbott scoring the winning penalty.

Just two weeks later, Norwich City FC’s dream day at Wembley saw the club defeat Middlesbrough to clinch promotion to the Premier League. One young member of CSF’s Elite Player Development Centre, who had tragically lost his Dad earlier in the year, was chosen as City’s Wembley mascot for the day. He said: “To stand in line and sing the national anthem beside the manager, Russell Martin and the rest of the team was my proudest moment – that feeling will stay me forever.


Ninety walkers completed the gruelling Coastal Walk Challenge, tackling 47-miles of the Norfolk coast in 24 hours in aid of the Foundation. Nigel, a participant, conveyed the emotion he felt at the end: “It was a worthwhile challenge in every sense, which took us through barriers and showed us all personal reserves we never knew existed.”

Mountains were conquered too, as twenty Aviva fundraisers climbed three of Britain’s biggest peaks, raising an incredible £10,000 for the Foundation.

On the pitch, a Kicks team represented the Canaries in a Premier League tournament, while the end of a successful inaugural season for CSF’s Futsal scholars saw three of the four teams qualify for the national finals.


The Summer Cup, celebrating its fifteenth anniversary, saw over 170 youth teams from across East Anglia come together for a weekend of tournament action. It was a tale of two days, with the British weather throwing up some challenging conditions – but there was no stopping the record-breaking Gorleston Rangers U11 team, who made it a hattrick of consecutive tournament wins.

The tournament season continued with five partner schools joining CSF ambassador & ex-England international Dean Ashton at the first Premier League 4 Sport festival.


On August 30th, over 3,000 runners took to the streets of Norwich city centre for our inaugural 10km running event, Run Norwich – including TV presenter, and CSF Trustee, Jake Humphrey. The men’s race was won by Norwich City FC fan Nick Earl in a time of 31 minutes and 28 seconds, with Tracy Barlow winning the female category in 35 minutes 46 seconds. Over £70,000 was raised and the funds were shared with three local charities: Age UK Norwich, Norfolk Accident Rescue Service and Nelson’s Journey. Following its success, a new date is set for next year – 7th August 2016!

Elsewhere, hundreds of 16-17-year olds took part in our National Citizen Service summer programme, which saw the youngsters engage in social action projects across Norfolk, and of course, enjoy the obligatory banana boat ride!


Dreams came true in September, with two very special surprises.

CSF’s Down’s Syndrome football team received a once-in-a-lifetime invitation onto the Carrow Road pitch by Norwich City FC players for a kickabout, during the club’s Open Training session.

Meanwhile, Canary fan Hayley Brickley, who has learning difficulties, got the chance to meet her heroes at the club’s team photo shoot, as part of the Foundation’s Wish Days.

On the fairways of the Royal Norwich Golf Club, Dean Ashton’s annual charity golf day raised £6,000 for the Foundation.


New partnerships were formed in October, as East Norfolk Sixth Form College became the latest CSF Community Hub site, joining Stalham High School, Great Yarmouth High School and Ormiston Venture Academy as new Hubs in 2015 – City goalkeeper Declan Rudd was on hand to help launch the new partnership.

CSF volunteers helped the club raise over £60,000 for Save the Children’s refugee crisis appeal, while young Sam Copeman, a week after enjoying the Down’s Syndrome team’s annual tour, revelled in the limelight as Norwich City FC’s guest of honour at the West Bromwich Albion fixture.


British boxing champ and CSF ambassador Ryan Walsh helped children celebrate their achievements on our health programme, Fit4it. 191 children have reduced their BMI through our Fit4it programme in 2015.

Young pupils at a number of our partner schools received surprise visits from Norwich City FC players during November, including Steven Whittaker and Graham Dorrans, while 225 quizzers battled it out at our annual charity quiz, On the Buzzer, City!


A familiar face is set for a return to the club, as former captain Adam Drury is announced as the lead coach of our new Norwich City Elite Football Development Programme. The course, developed in partnership with Easton & Otley College, will give 16 to 18-year-olds the unique opportunity to train and study at Norwich City Football Club, shadowing the Academy’s U18 side.

Meanwhile, Alex Neil and David McNally met seventy representatives from local businesses that help us to complete our vital work in the community at our Business Breakfast and City players spread festive cheer at local hospitals, visiting the children’s wards at James Paget Hospital and Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital.

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