Grant boost for Maulden Magpies footballers
Manager Jim Dickerson took charge to help out when his son was six - and both are still there over a decade later!
PICTURE: Maulden Magpies under-17s squad have received a Team Sport award through UK Power Networks employee Jim Dickerson who volunteers as their coach. The squad are pictured at a team away day before the pandemic.
When Jim Dickerson volunteered to take charge of his then six-year-old son’s village football team he never imagined he would still be coaching the same group more than a decade later.
Jim is now managing the under-18s team at Bedfordshire club Maulden Magpies, including his now 17-year-old son Will who, like seven other boys, has been through the same journey.
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the team’s finances, but now the Magpies are flying high again after receiving a £250 Team Sport award from Jim’s employer’s UK Power Networks, who distribute electricity across the East of England.
Jim, who works as an engineer in Stevenage, said: “I only started managing because Will, then six, wanted to play and they didn’t have anyone else to do it at that age level. It was an interim arrangement until they found someone permanent.
”Since then I’ve gone from the under-7s to now managing the under -17s ten years down the line. We actually play a year up at under-18s level, still with eight original players from the first season and hosting our home games at the beautiful backdrop of Wrest Park.
“I’m still enjoying doing the coaching even if the boys have got a bit harder to handle as they’ve got older! I’m helped a lot by the support of the other parents who are always willing to lend a hand.
“This donation will enable us to buy new training equipment for next season that we might struggle to purchase otherwise. This is the third year we have benefitted from the scheme and everyone at the club, especially with the extra challenge of the pandemic, is truly grateful.”
The Team Sport Award scheme encourages UK Power Networks staff to volunteer in the community and is aimed at promoting healthy living, teamwork and development of sporting opportunities.
Hundreds of community and sports groups have benefited from grants since the scheme was set up. During 2020, more than 60 teams benefitted to a combined sum of £15,500.