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Lakenheath Youth Football Club celebrate winning grassroots award after hosting another successful Challenge Cup





There has been double cause for celebration at Lakenheath Youth Football Club in recent weeks.

Over the May bank holiday weekend, an estimated 400 children took to the pitch during club’s annual Challenge Cup event.

The numbers involved once again highlighted the continued growth of the junior section over recent years, with a total of 13 Lakenheath teams ranging from under-7 to under-15 featuring at the Pitstop Auto Factors Arena – the home of the men’s senior side.

Lakenheath Youth Football Club hosted their annual Challenge Cup event over the May bank holiday weekend Pictures: Mark Westley
Lakenheath Youth Football Club hosted their annual Challenge Cup event over the May bank holiday weekend Pictures: Mark Westley
Lakenheath Youth Football Club’s Challenge Cup 2024. Picture: Mark Westley
Lakenheath Youth Football Club’s Challenge Cup 2024. Picture: Mark Westley

Lakenheath Youth chairman Richard Horrex said: “We decided to run Challenge Cup over two days this year. There was a few reasons for that, but mainly it was down to numbers. We’re growing each year and that’s great.

“Playing over the two days enhanced the social experience. Players were not being rushed on and off pitches and there was plenty of time to present medals and trophies.

“We had around 800 people over the two days, with about 400 of those playing. It’s growing year on year and we’ve been able to generate a good amount of traction.

Lakenheath Youth Football Club’s Challenge Cup 2024. Picture: Mark Westley
Lakenheath Youth Football Club’s Challenge Cup 2024. Picture: Mark Westley
Lakenheath Youth Football Club’s Challenge Cup 2024. Picture: Mark Westley
Lakenheath Youth Football Club’s Challenge Cup 2024. Picture: Mark Westley
Lakenheath Youth Football Club’s Challenge Cup 2024. Picture: Mark Westley
Lakenheath Youth Football Club’s Challenge Cup 2024. Picture: Mark Westley

“It has always been a great day for the kids and that’s what it’s all about for us.”

Among those playing across the weekend were the under-12s girls’ team, who made their Challenge Cup debut.

Horrex added: “It was fantastic to have a girls’ team playing. We’ve always had girls playing for our teams alongside boys, but never an all-girl team.

“Setting a girls’ team up was a big target for us and we’d love to be able to set more up at different age groups.”

Lakenheath Youth Football Club’s Challenge Cup 2024. Picture: Mark Westley
Lakenheath Youth Football Club’s Challenge Cup 2024. Picture: Mark Westley
Lakenheath Youth Football Club’s Challenge Cup 2024. Picture: Mark Westley
Lakenheath Youth Football Club’s Challenge Cup 2024. Picture: Mark Westley

And in further positive news, it was announced earlier this week that Lakenheath Youth had been voted the Club of the Year at the Suffolk Grassroots Football Awards.

A statement on the Suffolk FA website read: “(Lakenheath Youth) received multiple nominations and were described as ‘an amazing club’ with excellent facilities providing a player pathway to adult football.”