Having achieved FA Charter Standard status in April 2004 the club decided to apply for the FA's highest award - The Charter Community Club Award. In order to qualify we had to submit a detailed Football Development Plan which was completed by a small team of club officials. The document was sent to the FA in early June and we received confirmation in August 2004 that Ascot United has joined a small group of football clubs in the UK awarded this designation.
At the time we are only the second club in Berkshire to receive this award and it is mentioned on both the Berks and Bucks FA and Football Association websites.
The FA Community Club scheme builds upon the foundations of the Charter Standard scheme in placing clubs at the heart of their community.The following information about Community clubs is taken from the FA website
Community Clubs, the pinnacle of the club development pathway, will be those that have a high quality, multi-team (minimum of 10 teams) set up with excellent social, training and playing opportunities for all. As such, the number of Community Clubs is one of the truest measures of success for The FA Football Development strategy.
All new FA Community Clubs are required to meet FA criteria, ensuring they provide opportunities for players irrespective of age, gender, religion and ability. Clubs must also provide qualified coaches, first aiders and child protection officers.
All clubs that meet the criteria and achieve FA Community Club status will receive a host of benefits, including:
- FA Community Club Kitbag that includes balls, bibs, cones as well as an FA Community Club plaque
- Opportunities for tickets for England youth and women's internationals.
- Access to a bi-annual newsletter.
Although gaining Community Club status cannot guarantee funding from the Football Foundation for facility improvement, gaining the kite-mark has already been a significant factor in assisting clubs funding applications by providing evidence of a commitment to providing a sporting facility for use by the entire community.
Becoming an FA Community club should be the ultimate goal for hundreds of clubs at grassroots level.