By Kevin Smith
A newly-reformed Bognor Regis football team have had a double success this season.
Predators FC welcomed a team of 15 youngsters this year after moving from Felpham.
The change of location meant the newly-named Predators FC Under-11s White were in need of new equipment. They asked the Co-operative Funeralcare to help.
Colleagues in the company’s North Bersted and Rose Green branches donated a total of £700 to enable the new kit to arrive before the end of last year.
Lindsey Booker, a funeral co-ordinator at the Rose Green branch which is part of Southern Co-op, said: “I have a bit of a vested interest because one of the players is my son but it also means I see first-hand how much the team means to them all.
“I think this is an amazing thing to do – to help set up a new youth football team and help enable the children to take part in a sport they love.”
The team were visited by football officials late last year and presented with the Autumn Cup which they had won in the preceding weeks.
Head coach Galvin Wiggins said: “It’s been fantastic to have the support of the Southern Co-op.
“They don’t just make the boys look smart in their new kits, with the equipment we have been able to buy with the extra funds, it makes us able to progress the team to a higher standard.
“We are thankful to the continued support of the Southern Co-op.”
The Under-11s team includes players from across the area, including Bognor Regis, Aldwick, Rose Green and Felpham.
Predators FC was formed back in 1994 with the intention of giving all children the opportunity to play football.
The first squad consisted of 13 players, but this has since grown to more than 250 players. They include girls, boys, women and men.
Southern Co-op’s community engagement programme, Love Your Neighbourhood, aims to help communities become greener, healthier, safer and more inclusive.
Applications for funding, goods donations and volunteering by all local good causes are welcomed by the organisation.