CHICHESTER CITY’S Lizzie Ogden was named young volunteer of the year at the Sussex FA annual community awards.
Her hard work withthe city’s girls’ football club put her ahead of several other very worthy candidates.
Ogden is presently lead coach of Chichester Girls’ FC, which began more than a year ago with the support of Chichester College and the Observer.
Ogden led a team of female footballers from Chichester City Ladies and Chichester College to address the lack of playing opportunities for girls in the area.
She worked closely with Jade Widdowson and Hannah MacNamara to provide free after-school female football clubs in nine local primary schools. The project developed to establish a regular Saturday club where girls aged six to 14 have an opportunity to play on a weekly basis.
Such was its success, the model has been presented at the National Coaching Conference and is endorsed by the Football Association.
Having received the award with Chichester ladies’ team manager Matt Wright and college football academy head Darin Kilpartrick as chaperones for the evening, Ogden said: “The girls’ football club has been a huge success and it is great to see so many girls playing in our set-up.
“This year we have even more planned to strengthen the female game in Chichester and I’m really excited to get it all going. The skills I have learned from Dabba (Darin) and Matty have had a huge impact on my coaching style and motivation to keep driving this forward.”
The success is further boosted by the new youth sides who have stemmed from this project and have been introduced to the Sussex Women and Girls’ League.
This was the first weekend ever on which Chichester have been represented by four female sides - under 11s, under 13s and two female senior sides.
This season Ogden is looking to further increase awareness of Chichester Girls’ FC through primary and secondary football festivals out of Chichester College.
These will be a platform to further increase the existing set-ups along with creating a ‘just play’ fun football weekly session for females aged 14 to 25 as part of the Sportivate Initiative. For more information on female football playing opportunities, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Keveena Mosen, Sussex FA football development officer, said: “The grassroots awards are a chance for us to recognise those volunteers, coaches and clubs that sacrifice so much throughout the year and say thank-you to them.
“Without them we wouldn’t have safe and structured environments where youngsters can develop their footballing talent. We are delighted the FA and McDonald’s have provided us with the opportunity to recognise them through the FA community awards.”
Eastbourne 1 Chichester City Ladies Reserves 5
Away to the leaders, Chichester started brightly and didn’t give Eastbourne any time on the ball.
The midfield partnership of Jodie Greenway and Lizzy Ogden were working hard early on and Lucy Stanbridge played a ball into Kally Ambler, and her quick turn and shot took the Eastbourne keeper by surprise to make it 1-0.
A sublime free-kick from Greenway flew into the top corner to make it 2-0. A long free-kick into the box by centre-back Stacy Baker found Ambler, who got her second after 25 minutes.
Chichester struck their fourth when Greenway hit another free-kick which the Eastbourne keeper misjudged - it looped over her head and into the net.
City made a couple of changes at half-time with Lauren Ellis and Amber Beaven coming on.
Chichester continued to press and Eastbourne’s attacks were comfortably dealt with by the defence. Laura Bull in Chichester’s goal swept up well behind the back four.
A free-kick about 30 yards out was Eastbourne’s first effort on target after 65 minutes but it flew into the top corner giving Bull no chance.
Jemma Cottam-Verbruggen and Georgia Selby came into central midfield and several good corners by woman of the match Ellis caused the hosts a scare or two.
Great work from Beaven down Chichester’s left led to Cottam-Verbruggen finding space in the box to make it 5-1.
Eastbourne have been replaced at the top by Seahaven, who Chichester face this Sunday at Hunston Community Club (2pm).
CHICHESTER: Bull, Halford, Baker, Richardson, Chalk, Clarke, Ogden, Greenway, Stanbridge, Payne, Ambler, Subs: Selby, Bailey, Beaven, Cottam-Verbruggen, Ellis.