Willesden student wins award during Arsenal V Manchester City match at Wembley
- Credit: Archant
A Willesden student was publicly acknowledged for his outstanding contributions to grassroots football during half-time at the Arsenal vs Manchester City FA Community Shield match in Wembley, yesterday.
Jakub Matweijszyn, become the envy of his peers after he was handed the prestigious Young Volunteer of the Year Award, in front of tens of thousands of football fanatics on the famed Wembley Stadium pitch at the 2014 FA and McDonald’s Community Awards on Sunday (August 10).
Jakub collected the award, presented by blind Paralympic 5-a-side footballer David Clarke, in front of football legends including Sir Geoff Hurst, Pat Jennings and Eric Harrison, in an exclusive ceremony ahead of the match.
The 18-year-old, an A-Level student at Capital City Academy, in Doyle Gardens, successfully fought off stiff competition from thousands of nominee nationwide to receive the coveted accolade.
He said: “I never expected to win the award so it’s a surprise and an honour. It was extremely nerve racking experience.”
The teenager, who is eagerly awaiting his results for his A-Level in media and double sports BTEC, balanced his studies with his commitment to volunteering and coaching at Brent Schools and in the wider community.
A player for Hanwell Town Football Club, Jakub is also a level one and two qualified coach, and a referee who manages his school’s Year 7 football team and officiates every home game.
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Jakub showed his dedication by giving up his lunch breaks to manage the football pitch and runs an after school homework club for players who need extra help.
He told the Times that the inspiration behind his volunteering was the late Trevor Hutton, his former P.E. teacher and AFC Wembley co-founder and coach, who won a Pride of Brent award for his commitment and hard work the football club he established before his tragic death in April this year.
He said: “He was a wonderful and intelligent man who did so much for young people. He was my coach of five years, my personal mentor, and overall a great man.”
Now in their fifth year, The FA and McDonald’s Community Awards recognise and celebrate volunteers, coaches, clubs and leagues across England whose hard work is vital to keeping grassroots football alive in their local community.
Sir Geoff Hurst, who scored a hat-trick for England taking them to victory at the 1966 World Cup, is McDonald’s director of football.
He said: “Jakub Matwiejszyn embodies the spirit of a grassroots football. The vast number of hours and the dedication he has shown to achieve his coaching and referee qualifications and this age is commendable and he deserves this award tremendously.”