Ifield Albion Football Club has netted a £250 sport award for new training kit from Britain’s largest electricity distributor, UK Power Networks.
Neal Sabourn nominated the club for his employer’s Team Sport Award as he has been a keen football fan, volunteer and supporter there for 10 years.
The engineering team leader at UK Power Networks said: “I was over the moon to win this award and want to thank UK Power Networks for their support, as it means a lot to the club. Like most clubs we have a lot of costs, including the pitch and referee fees and kit, so this sponsorship will go towards new training kit and footballs to keep the club running.
“This club is special to me because it came out of nowhere to win the cup two years ago and put itself on the map. I get a lot of enjoyment from following their progress and it is really good to see young people involved in sport. Socially, sport brings people together. After matches we meet for sandwiches in the Pelham Buckle café and the players bring their wives, girlfriends and children with them.”
Neal started volunteering with the club 10 years ago, helping with coaching, financial registrations, memberships and deputising for the manager. The Fulham supporter has played non-league football with Woking, Molesey and Dorking Football Clubs and managed youth league football from under-8s to under-18s with Corinthian Casuals FC. It was there that he gained coaching badges and was involved in the FA Youth Cup, a first with Corinthian Casuals FC.
“At 54 I don’t play football anymore, but I love being involved in the organisational side of the game,” said Neal.
Ifield Albion FC train at Ifield Community School and Maidenbower School on Wednesday evenings and play at Furnace Green Playing Fields in the Mid Sussex League Division 3 North. They are currently placed middle of the table.
The Team Sport Award scheme encourages staff to volunteer in the community and is aimed at promoting healthy living, teamwork and development of sporting opportunities.
Hundreds of community and sports groups have benefited from grants since the scheme was set up. Last year £18,000 was donated to sporting groups connected to UK Power Networks staff.