JLife’s Kirsty Plowman speaks to Leeds Maccabi Junior Football Club chairman Andy Norman about the club’s latest developments including a £177,967 grant and the ongoing partnership with The Zone and Brodetsky Primary School.
Andy Norman has been with Leeds Maccabi for six years, as a coach, committee member and chairman. With extensive knowledge of junior football, Andy’s background includes being involved with grassroots football right through to academy and league football.
Leeds Maccabi has 100 junior and senior players and is run by a committee and volunteers. The club has been running for 20 years and has recently secured a £177,967 grant from The FA Facilities Fund run by the Football Foundation.
What are the objectives for Leeds Maccabi?
Our main objective is to see more children of whatever ability or social background involved in football and sports as a whole.
Maccabi has three core elements – Football, Health and Community.
Football – we seek to offer all kids the opportunity to play in a safe environment, the opportunity to improve and if they want to get them into league academies.
Health – we want to improve the health and fitness of children and get them off electronic games and iPods. We promote good eating habits and teach them how to prepare for games. We hope that once they leave they take on board our ideas.
Community – Maccabi ensures all children in the community have the opportunity to play football and take part in other sports. We also want them to make friends with other children. With the development on the Brodetsky site, we want our footballers to play their games then mix with the other kids at The Zone.
We have children with disabilities playing for us. We find football brings kids together and is something positive to put their minds to.
Leeds Maccabi hopes to provide the best possible facilities to do this and become involved with other community organisations. We already have an accredited partnership with The Zone and Brodetsky Primary School. Donisthorpe Hall is our main sponsor, recently securing new kit for both the junior and adult teams.
What are Leeds Maccabi’s achievements?
Since our inception when we started with one team we now have seven junior teams and a senior team that won three trophies last season. The partnership with The Zone and Brodetsky Primary School is a great accomplishment. We pulled our resources together and deliver first class youth facilities to bring together all separate youth organisations in one area. We’ll be using the school’s changing rooms and use The Zone’s clubhouse as our clubhouse.
We’ve secured a partnership with London-based organisation Maccabi GB. Once we get our new pitches we will become their northern hub. Maccabi GB offer kids the opportunity to play at a national and international level.
The funding that we’ve secured will be used to install new pitches on the Brodetsky site. We will level the pitches, install full drainage systems and new goalposts providing state-of-the-art FA-approved facilities.
The funding has been in discussion for over three years and we are now at the tender stage. Leeds Maccabi have done a lot of fundraising so the money raised will go towards the project.
The club has achieved FA Chartered Standard Development Status which means we follow rules and regulations set out by The FA and our policies have been approved and we have a blueprint of where the club is going and how it developed.
We have introduced football to a number of children who have gone on to play for football league academies including Leeds City Boys and Yorkshire Independent Schools squads. Recently two of our players were chosen to play for Maccabi GB national squads at the Berlin games.
What’s in store for Leeds Maccabi in the future?
The future looks really bright. We want to grow and develop the football club. We want to merge the football club into one big Maccabi sports club by setting up new sports like netball and cycling. We also want to create a partnership with other sports providers for example golf and tennis to offer opportunities to children in these sports and to give access to sports for all.
We’re looking for more volunteers to help create the new Maccabi sports club and new players are always welcome.
For more information, call Andy on 07766 751 190.