UEFA awards for grassroots services

UEFA vice-president Des Casey has been given a UEFA lifetime achievement award for his services to grassroots football.

UEFA vice-president Des Casey has been given a UEFA lifetime achievement award for his services to grassroots football. The UEFA Executive Committee member from the Republic of Ireland received the award at the third UEFA Grassroots Course in Cyprus, which ended on Thursday.

Lifetime involvement
The course heard that Mr Casey had been serving football from his youth as a player, official and administrator. He was an amateur goalkeeper with the Republic of Ireland club Dundalk FC in the 1940s and 1950s, and also served the club in a variety of administrative capacities, including the positions of secretary and treasurer.

Sterling grassroots work
Mr Casey’s distinguished career as an official has involved sterling work on behalf of the grassroots sector. He became a member of UEFA’s Youth Committee in the mid-1980s, eventually being named as chairman of the committee. His work within European football led to his election as a member of UEFA’s Executive Committee during the 1990s, and he is now one of four vice-presidents of European football’s governing body.

Outstanding personality
“He is an outstanding personality, who has had an enormous influence on grassroots development,” said UEFA Technical Director Andy Roxburgh. “He has been involved in football throughout his life, as a player and a leading official, and he merits this recognition because he has served the game with such distinction.”

Special contributions award
A UEFA special contributions award was presented to Anders Levinson (Denmark), who has been the driving force behind the Danish Fun Football Schools project – one of the projects on UEFA’s charity portfolio.

Tolerance and understanding
The project is aimed at promoting tolerance, as well as peaceful co-existence and understanding among the various population groups in the Balkan region of south-eastern Europe, and Mr Levinson was the key personality in the initiation of the programme, which is being run in conjunction with the Danish Football Association.

Fun football for 37,000 children
UEFA has signed a three-year co-operation agreement with the project, and the objective is to set up 185 Open Fun Football Schools for 37,000 children aged between eight and 14 in countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYR Macedonia and Yugoslavia.