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Women's Football News
"It all seems surreal, the year just gets better and better, it's amazing," enthused Dawn Barnard after she won another prestigious award last Wednesday evening.
Having already scooped the 'Unsung Hero' award at the inaugural Active Chelmsford Sports Awards evening she was put forward and short listed for the Sport Essex Award held at Colchester United's Western Homes Community Stadium.
The show, which went live on air on BBC Essex, saw Dawn successful in scooping the top honour in the 'Unsung Hero' category. She has now been put forward and short listed for the Eastern Regional Award to be held in Bedford on Thursday 8th December. This follows on from Dawn having already scooped the top FA 'Outstanding Contribution to Community Football' honour, held at Wembley Stadium in August.
Dawn Barnard has been at the forefront for the development of Women's & Girls football in Essex since 1986. Having formed and played for Chelmsford City Ladies & Girls FC, she was also instrumental in helping to form and run both the Essex County Girls' Football League and the Essex County Women's Football League. She has worked tirelessly over the years to develop the sport as a whole which has seen the sport in Essex grow immensely.
Dawn was originally on the Committee of the Greater London Women's Football League and undertook the roles of Registration Secretary and Divisional Representative from 1988 onwards but stepped down from that league when she helped to form the Ormiston Girls' League (later to be known as the Essex County Girls League) in 1993. Dawn again held various positions, including Registration Secretary, League Secretary and Vice-Chairperson, on the Committee and also was instrumental in organising Cup Finals Day and Mini Soccer Festivals to help the development of new players. Dawn was then invited to become the Secretary of the Essex County Women's Football League in 2004 and this is a position she has held for the last seven years.
Dawn has also held the position as Women's & Girls' Representative on the Executive Council of the Essex County Football Association for eight years as well performing the task of Team Secretary for the Essex County FA Women's Representative Team, a role she also performed for the Under-16 and Under-14 Girls' teams.
Dawn was also a figurehead in forming the Essex County Women's & Girls' Football Alliance, before being voted in to the position of Vice Chairperson. This was an alliance in place to bring the two Essex League's (Women's & Girls) to help a smooth transition for teams and players from girls football into the women's game.
She also lobbied and was successful in ensuring the Essex County FA granting the Girls League pioneering small sided football for them a number of years ago, no other junior/youth league at the time were doing this as she saw the skill development advantages of small sided football (7v7 and 9v9) on smaller (junior pitches).
As for her own club at Chelmsford City, Dawn has been pivotal at the helm in seeing the senior and junior section rise over the years as she has strived to provide football locally for females at all ages of any ability to play football. She has been particularly pleased to have seen numerous players, progress on to play at National League level, progress to the USA and play at University and Collegiate level as well as players gain honours at International Level. Two current players who came through the Junior level are currently playing for both the England and Great Britain Deaf Squads.
Dawn is also pleased to see her Club not only gain the FA Charter Standard Club award in 1995 but last season, her hard work behind the scenes saw Chelmsford City Ladies & Girls FC, achieve the coveted FA Charter Standard Community Club award.
All these roles Dawn has performed on a voluntary basis for 25 years which she has managed to complete while also having a family of three children (who are aged 16, 13 and 9).
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