Grassroots Football at its Best: Celebrating Success and Promoting Mental Health Awareness.
London based, grassroots football club, Kensington & Chelsea WFC, have achieved outstanding success recently, including their victory in the Grenfell Memorial Cup, held at St George Park on the 14th of May.
Their vision is to create a welcoming and inclusive community where individuals can come together through their shared love of football, and use the sport as a means to improve their mental health and wellbeing.
Together with sister club, Minds United, they have impacted and supported over 400 people who have experienced mental health issues.
As Gift of Kit, a organisation dedicated to supporting grassroots teams, we are proud to have supported them in their journey to success. We look at the triumphs, challenges, and the support that has propelled Kensington & Chelsea WFC to make a difference to so many in their community.
A Legacy of Triumph
Kensington & Chelsea WFC’s journey has been truly impressive. Alongside their recent Grenfell Memorial Cup victory, they have secured three trophies in the past year.
Led by Head Coach and player, Vicki McGarrigle, alongside Captain Melissa Nathan-Pepple and Coach Karena McKay, the team has established themselves as a force in the footballing community. Their commitment, hard work, and sportsmanship have been key factors in their success, including victories in the Women’s legacy tournament, NWL League, and the Grenfell Memorial Cup.
Vicki reflects on their journey, “Our success has been phenomenal this year for the women, following on from the males’ success. We entered the Women’s legacy tournament and won the cup, and leading up from that, we started a 7-a-side team in the NWL mental health league at Uxbridge and Kensington and Chelsea WFC has won the league. Then we won the 11-a-side Grenfell Memorial Cup.” She highlights the importance of teamwork, adding, “Teamwork makes the dream work.”
Overcoming Challenges, Embracing Unity.
Like any successful team, Kensington & Chelsea WFC has faced challenges along the way. However, their determination, resilience, and strong sense of unity have helped them overcome these obstacles.
Vicki McGarrigle, the Manager, has displayed unwavering belief in the club and the supportive community that surrounds them. Through hard work, discipline, and the backing of players and the wider community, Kensington & Chelsea WFC has emerged stronger and more determined than ever.
Vicki said, “There was one point last year I never thought I could get this far, but with my resilience, determination, and having that vision not to give up, along with the support of the players and the club colleagues, we have achieved outstanding results.”
A Team United By Values.
Unity and shared values are fundamental to Kensington & Chelsea WFC’s success. The team embraces principles of respect, sportsmanship, and community spirit. They believe that football extends beyond the pitch, aiming to bring together diverse communities and excel in women’s football. Vicki highlights their vision, stating, “We want to showcase female community football at a good level and come together in all communities to achieve greater things.”
The Impact of Support.
Gift of Kit has been privileged to support Minds United and Kensington & Chelsea WFC for the past four years. Through our partnerships with Starling Bank and Deliveroo, we have provided the team with high-quality kit, allowing the clubs to focus resources elsewhere.
Tarik Kaidi, Club President, expresses his gratitude, stating, “I want to thank Gift of Kit for the support over the last 4 years.
The kits have been used by Minds United FC Community team made up of players from St Charles Mental Health Unit, as well as our Women’s team in the NWL mental health league and to win the Grenfell Memorial Cup. Taking away the financial burden of buying match kits, has no doubt helped us grow”.
Furthermore, we are thrilled to have funded an FA level 1 coaching course for Kamil, a dedicated club volunteer. Paul Menacer, Head Coach of both Minds United’s male and female teams, acknowledges the impact, saying, “We really appreciate the support in giving Kamil a fully funded place. Kamil is an integral part of the club, and getting a fully funded place will continue to improve his skills and help support many more”.&
Looking Towards The Future.
As Kensington & Chelsea WFC continues to achieve remarkable success, the future holds even greater promise. The ongoing support from brands like Starling Bank and Gift of Kit and media partners Female Football TV will ensure that the team can progress and flourish.
“We have amazing opportunities ahead of us… wanting to make a difference in mental health through football”, said Manager, Vicki.
To stay up to date with the teams progress, follow the team on instagram.