Keybury Junior League

New era in junior football. Keybury Fire and Security’s Tom Gee is pictured centre with league chairman Pete Softley, right, and former Calderdale Junior League chairman, now referee secretary Paul Dungworth.

The newly formed Bradford and Calderdale Keybury Junior League is going great guns in its first full season – and much of this success can be put down to the continuing support of its keynote sponsor, Keighley-based Keybury Fire and Security.

The league – previously the Bradford & District Keybury Junior League, encompassing the Aire, Wharfe and Craven valleys – moved the goal posts for the 2015/16 season to take in junior teams from across Calderdale. During its first season, 72 teams from 26 clubs, comprising both boys and girls aged six to 11 years, have signed on to play.

“Since its formation earlier this year, the newly extended league has already demonstrated a commitment to becoming one of the most forward thinking and progressive junior football leagues in the region. We couldn’t have achieved it without the ongoing backing of Keybury,” said league chairperson Pete Softley.

The launch season saw a pioneering offer of free football for all member clubs and for every age group – the first time this has ever been done, according to the West Riding County FA.

‘”True grassroots football needs proper governance. Football should not be about profiteering – it should be about helping clubs invest in young people and waving the league fees is our way of supporting clubs for the good of the game,” commented Pete, a serving police officer in Bradford who continues as a member of the league committee and remains one of its two Respect Officers. No one receives any fees or honorariums for their services.

The initiative has been warmly welcomed by the West Riding County FA. Its Football Development Officer Steve Dorey said: ‘This is a brilliant move from the league. They’ve recognised a massive barrier to football is cost and have addressed this in the best way possible.

“I’m not aware of any other league that’s done it. Their primary focus is getting kids playing football and having already done some great things by merging two existing leagues into a strong, united organisation, this is another example of the fantastic work the league committee are doing.”

Keybury Fire and Security has been supporting and sponsoring junior football across the region since 2000. Only last year, the Bradford & District League achieved official FA accreditation, integral to which was the granting of the FA Charter Standard kite mark.

This is awarded in recognition of the provision of a high quality, well-run and sustainable football experience, with child protection, quality coaching and safety paramount. This recognition continues in the league’s new format.

Keybury’s Tom Gee said: “The new league is working well and all concerned in its planning and running are to be congratulated. They are doing a first-rate job in helping to ensure that every youngster has the opportunity to play football.

“For our part, we remain fully committed to helping children and young people across the region to develop their sporting skills and get involved in a team sport, which can only contribute to their personal development and, as a direct result, their health and fitness.”

Founded in 1982, Keybury remains one of the region’s longest established independent family-run fire and security companies. Continuing business growth across its core intruder and fire alarm, and CCTV divisions last year prompted the firm to relocate to new, much larger premises on Keighley’s Worth Enterprise Park.

Operating across Yorkshire, Lancashire and the north-west, Keybury also has a network of regional offices in Bradford, Leeds, Skipton, Ilkley, Harrogate and York.

Find more information on the Bradford and Calderdale Keybury Junior Football League on their website.