Handsworth youngsters' football club shortlisted for best citizens' fund award project

Diamond Academy, a football club that brings together children from different backgrounds, has been shortlisted for the West Midlands Outstanding Citizens' Awards.

The football club provides coaching for children in Handsworth, Perry Barr, Great Barr and Handsworth Wood and has been recognised for the positive contribution it has made strengthening community cohesion in inner-city Birmingham.

Having received a grant from the Police and Crime Commissioner's Active Citizens Fund, Diamond Academy has been nominated for this award that recognises the best use of the funds it has been awarded.

It was last year awarded to receive a £10,500 contribution towards expanding its coaching and community work.

Dean Broomes, Director of Diamond Academy, on being nominated for the award, said:

"Diamond Academy has grown from me and my lads using jumpers for goalposts in Garden Gate park to being a club of over 100 kids playing some really great football.

"At the end of the day, we're a football club and we're developing some really good players... but we're more than just that. We're looking to make these lads become better people. The lads are white, black, Asian, Polish, African... and we're all learning about the cultures of people with different backgrounds... trying to get people to mix... we're like a big family. The Academy has been great for our area and we're excited about our plans to take it to the next level."

David Jamieson, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, said:

"This is our chance to recognise some of the outstanding contributions that individuals and organisations, like the Diamond Academy football club, are making to support and educate our young citizens."

The awards ceremony will take place on Thursday July 6th, 2017 at Edgbaston Cricket Ground. There are six categories being recognised for awards: Outstanding Citizen, Outstanding Community Project, Outstanding Young Citizen, Outstanding Act of Good Citizenship, Active Citizens' Fund Project and Special Recognition Award.