The award is a flagship initiative awarded by The FA and assesses the ability of a League to provide a high quality, safe and enjoyable football experience against a standard set of criteria.
It also encourages the League to continually develop, giving direction and purpose through a carefully written Development Plan. This development plan will allow the Oxfordshire FA and the league officers to work closely in initiatives that will hopefully improve youth football in the area in which the league operates.
"I am delighted that the Oxford Mail Boys League have achieved The FA Charter Standard League award. This is a great testament to their hard work, and more importantly underlines their commitment in working with Oxfordshire FA to develop youth football within the County," said Owain Prosser, Oxfordshire FA’s Football Development Officer.
"The amount of work and time committed in making these development plans work is substantial, and the tireless effort that the League Committees have put into making them work is second to none. We are extremely proud to be associated with these kinds of personnel who work in our Leagues and Clubs. Without their hard work, commitment and forward thinking attitude, it would be extremely difficult to improve grassroots football.
As part of the criteria to attain the League award, clubs have also had to become Charter Standard Clubs and therefore undertake some key areas of improvement in their operating standards. Each club must now have in place amongst other things, a Club Welfare Officer, a Child Protection Policy, all volunteers to have CRB checks and managers and coaches to have appropriate Coaching, Safeguarding Children and Emergency Aid qualifications.
Steve Simmonds, League Secretary of the Oxford Mail Boys League, spoke of his delight at achieving the award, adding: "This award represents our league's commitment to grassroots football and is great reward for us and our member clubs. There are a great deal of unsung heroes behind the scenes, all of which would agree with me that the Oxford Mail Boys League are honoured to achieve the award. The award is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of both the Management Committee and member clubs over the last few years. We have achieved large amounts of success since our formation in 1964 and currently has over 270 teams playing within our divisions”.
"We see the development plan as the perfect tool in our vision to continue developing. It gives direction, and with the County FA’s continued support and the relationship we continue to develop with them, youth football in our area will only benefit from it. We have a lot of hard work in front of us, but we have very committed clubs and a very committed workforce which will allow us to succeed."
For more details on the Oxford Mail Boys League please contact Steve Simmonds on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01865 460749.
in picture: Paul Lyon, Steve Simmonds, Mary Simmonds, Paul Harvey (all OMBL officials), Owain Prosser (OFA Development Officer), Mark Edwards (Oxford Mail)