CACT recognises community contributions at Player of the Year Dinner

Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) acknowledged the achievements of both players and participants at Charlton Athletic’s Player of the Year Dinner on Sunday 5 May.

There were four CACT awards up for grabs: Participant of the Year, Affiliated Player of the Year, Men’s Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) Community Champion and Women’s PFA Community Champion.

Deb Browne, CACT’s Head of Health Improvement, presented the Participant of the Year award. to Carole Cheney, who had seven weeks of smoking cessation support on the Kick the Habit programme. 

Delivered by CACT on behalf of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, the scheme helped her successfully quit smoking

As well as quitting smoking after sessions with Charlie East, CACT’s Health Improvement Manager, Carole has also credited CACT and Charlton with helping her spend time with her eight-year-old granddaughter Sydney, making use of complimentary tickets through the Community 500 scheme.s

Open to players from all teams linked to CACT, Affiliated Player of the Year went to Harrison Summers from CACT’s Post-16 Football & Education Academy. Despite struggling with an injury this season, Harrison persevered in the classroom and recently passed his SATs..

The full-back has his eyes on going to the United States next year to attend University and continue playing football. Working with CACT partner John Robinson Soccer USA, he has used the College Fit Finder, and hopes to catch the eye of American scouts.

William Kay from the Charlton Upbeats was Highly Commended for the award.

Darren Pratley and Katie Startup won the PFA Community Champion award for their commitment in the community. Both have been excellent role models and engaged with several of CACT’s programmes..

Darren, in his first season with the club, has immersed himself in a range of CACT projects and made a huge impact.

Chosen as Charlton’s PFA Health Ambassador, Darren has promoted healthy lifestyles through his support of Kick the Habit and CACT’s blood pressure programmes.

Darren also presented trophies to a number of CACT’s disability teams, as well as attending the Charlton Upbeats’ Christmas Party.

Charlton Athletic Women’s FC goalkeeper Katie Startup has also attended a wide range of CACT’s projects this season, including the EFL Girls’ Cup.

Katie took time to chat with the participants, give footballing advice and sign autographs. As well as this, Startup visited a Premier League Girls session, where she took part in a Q&A about her footballing journey.

As a result, many of those girls attended numerous women’ matches season. Katie also visited a local hospital during the Christmas period, putting smiles on the faces of patients. 

She said:

“It’s lovely to be recognised by the club and the PFA for the little things I’ve done in the community. It’s important that we all have a responsibility to do more and inspire more in the community, so it’s nice to be recognised.

“I think it’s important for bringing in new girls into the game and building strong relationships within the club and within the football community as a whole.” 

Photos: Kyle Andrews

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