Community Sport Foundation's 2023 Recap | Norwich City Community Sports Foundation

Story added: 15th December 2023

A look back at some of the highlights of the last 12 months


2023 began with a positive development at Carrow Road, as the venue opened for the first time as a ‘winter community hot-spot’, with members of the public invited to drop in every Wednesday morning for a complimentary cup of tea or coffee, to help battle the ever-rising cost of living rates.

January also saw the Utilita EFL Cup take place at The Nest, with eight Under 11 schools teams competing for a chance to represent Norwich City on the road to the final at Wembley.


The busy month of February began with the Foundation pledging its support to the Norfolk Children & Young People’s Strategic Alliance’s Flourishing in Norfolk scheme, which saw further support provided for young people across the county.

Norwich City Women’s players Millie Daviss and Bryony Williams were on hand a few days later to unveil a new orchard at The Nest, as part of the Foundation’s involvement in the Green Football Weekend, a nationally recognised football-orientated scheme which sees environmental change within the local community.

Despite being the shortest month, February still had more to offer, with Forces 2 Canaries – a veteran Norwich City supporters group – travelling to Wigan to take on the Latics veteran team before the first team fixture between the two teams at the DW Stadium.


March began with the Foundation’s Duncan’s Club members being invited to Carrow Road for a full stadium tour. The visit allowed participants to reminisce on the club’s rich history as they were led past the trophy cabinet, the changing rooms and out towards the dugouts.

We also shone a spotlight on International Women’s Day, hosting a special event at The Nest for girls from schools in the local community. The day included talks from guest speakers, a workshop studying inspirational sportswomen and finally a competitive style tournament on the 3G pitches, with Pakefield School emerging as victors.

There was further success on the pitch in March – this time for our Cerebral Palsy team, who secured the league title in dramatic fashion, beating Derby 7-1 to clinch the silverware on goal difference!

There was also royal recognition in the month of March, with Foundation CEO Ian Thornton receiving an OBE from King Charles III at Buckingham Palace for his outstanding services to the community in Norfolk.


In April, the Foundation’s Soccer Schools participants were treated to a surprise visit from first-team players Dimitris Giannoulis and Teemu Pukki, whilst there was exciting news on the transport front, with Canary Konect being launched for the first time, allowing easier travel between Carrow Road and The Nest.

There were also exciting opportunities for both our PL Kicks and our Realising Potential participants, with the Kicks Team given the chance to take part in an exciting media workshop at Carrow Road, and the Realising Potential members participating in an employability event at Carrow Park.


The warmer weather saw the beginning of our annual fundraising events, with 2023’s Coastal Challenge raising over £30,000 for the Foundation. May also saw the Corporate Cup take place at The Nest and another £4500 fundraised, with local business Pink Office clinching the silverware in a closely contested tournament.

The fantastic fundraising in May didn’t stop there though – serial fundraiser Lee Clark organised a ‘Fans Game’ at Carrow Road, with over 60 Norwich City fans gracing the hallowed turf in a series of three 45-minute fixtures.

There was further personal recognition for two Foundation staff members in the month of May, with Disability Development Manager Darren Hunter winning the Premier League ‘One of our own’ award and Norwich City Women’s player Millie Daviss picking up PFA Community Champion award.


The British summertime saw the Foundation’s fundraising continue, with both the Cycle Swarm and Peaky Climbers event taking place in the month of June. Both events raised a fantastic £43,000 for the charity, an amazing achievement from all the participants, especially taking into consideration the sweltering conditions.

June also saw ex-ITV Anglia journalist Malcolm Robertson visit the Duncan’s Club participants at The Nest to share stories from his illustrative career.


July was a busy month on the pitches, with The Nest playing host to series of football tournaments. The Summer Cup series and the Girls World Football Festival were both ultimate successes, with teams from both inside and outside of the county showing up in numbers to compete in challenging conditions.

The streets of Norwich were once again packed for the latest instalment of Run Norwich, with a record-breaking number of participants taking part in the nationally recognised 10k race.


Norwich City first team players Onel Hernandez and Kellen Fisher were on hand for another player appearance at our summer soccer schools at The Nest, taking photos, signing shirts and having a kick-around with our participants.

There was further action at The Nest in August, with four days of competitive tournament football in the Canary Cup, which saw our respective Foundation’s from across the country arrive in numbers to compete for the silverware.


Autumn began with the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, with 30 walkers raising a collective £7500 for the Foundation by climbing Yorkshire’s three highest peaks in unprecedented sweltering conditions in the space of just 12 hours.

The annual instalment of Golf Day saw both a new team captain and a new venue, with City legend Wes Hoolahan arriving on scene at the Barnham Broom to take on respective captain Bryan Gunn.


October saw the second annual instalment of the Girl’s Canary Cup at The Nest, with teams from across the country arriving at the Nest to compete for the top prize. There was a victory for the Norwich City Girls’ team on home soil in the U12’s age group, with the U16 girls narrowly missing out to Devon FA in the final.


A relatively quiet October was followed by an action-packed November, with the Foundation having both the EFL Week of Action and their very own dedicated Thanking Week within the calendar month. Thanking Week – which was previously Thanking Day – sees the Foundation dedicate a working week towards reaching out and expressing gratitude towards everyone involved with the Foundation in 2023.

The Business Leader’s dinner was another headline event in the month of November, with over £20,000 raised for the Foundation in a single evening.


An action-packed year was concluded in December, with Norwich City striker Josh Sargent making an appearance at RAF Mildenhall, and ex-Canary Darren Huckerby visiting the Extra Time participants at Carrow Park.

December also saw the opening of On the Stall City’s new store at the forum, with all profits made at the fantastic voluntary-run shop going towards the Community Sports Foundation.

Everyone at the Foundation would like to say a big thanks to everyone involved with the charity in 2023, we couldn’t have done it without you!

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