Eastbourne Borough FC was one of the first clubs in the country to achieve the Football Association Charter Standard, and the first in Sussex to be designated a Community Club. The Charter Standard was launched by the FA in December 2002, with the aim to continuing the promotion and support of grassroots football, by positioning local clubs at the heart of the community. The initiative was launched in conjunction with The FA's Community Partner McDonalds.
The FA's Community Clubs initiative is aimed at developing the structure and quality of clubs, building on the foundations of The FA Charter Standard Clubs Scheme.
All 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.
The link between Eastbourne Borough FC and Langney Point Junior Football Club, which had already received its Charter Mark, enabled Eastbourne Borough FC to achieve its Community Award, with facilities and playing opportunities designated as appropriate by the FA.
The Birth of Eastbourne Borough Youth FC
In June 2003 Langney Point Junior FC formally linked up with Eastbourne Borough to create the prospect of one of the biggest football playing memberships on one site in the country. Point had a playing membership of nearly 400, and from 2003/04 played as Eastbourne Borough Youth FC, with the number increasing to approaching 600 by the end of 2006/2007, and continues to grow .
Point chairman Bill Wheatley said it was important that the town in general got behind what Boro' were trying to achieve: "Eastbourne has now been put on the football map, but it will be easier to achieve greater heights with everyone supporting them. Our name change will give out the message that we are proud to support them on and off the pitch", he said.
Borough Youth will be run separately from the senior club, with its own constitution and code of conducts. A coaching structure is in place giving more support to managers and coaches.
The chairman said he appreciated the views of those keen to keep the Langney Point name. "It has been a wonderful achievement to start with one ball and 20 kids on Five Acres field," he said. "We must not forget that there a lot of people past and present who have given far too much of their lives and time to help the club to where it is now. But I honestly feel to adopt the Eastbourne Borough youth name will guarantee our future existence. The new name will generate support on and off the pitch to continue the work of those before."
"It has always been our philosophy to strive to be the best we can, to give the kids pride and a sense of belonging to a club to be proud of. The name change is the best we can do for them; I see an exciting future with endless opportunities for all connected with Eastbourne Borough Youth FC."
The independent Eastbourne Borough Youth FC web site is available here.