FOOTBALL Association chief executive Martin Glenn has presented Longfleet Youth Football Club with a prestigious community award.

The Dorset Country Football Association (DCFA) nominated the club for the 2015/16 season, following a year which saw the youth side establish training sessions for players with Down's Syndrome.

Players and club officials worked closely with Rosie Eggleton from the Dorset FA, and with DSActive on the initiative.

DSActive is a nationwide sports programme for people with Down's Syndrome, which is administered by the Down's Syndrome Association charity.

Longfleet Youth FC now has 25 players of all ages attending the sessions and are in the process of creating a DSActive Over 16s team to compete in a league.

DCFA chief executive officer Sue Hough said: "Longfleet Youth FC have been recognised for the fantastic work they have done and continue to do, all of us at the DCFA are delighted that they have been awarded the prestigious FA Community Award for Dorset."

FA chief Martin Glenn presented club officials the trophy at Hamworthy's County Ground.

A Longfleet FC spokesman said: "It has been a challenging, yet rewarding project and many of the members and the DCFA 'Football Futures' youths have played a big part in its success to date.

"Longfleet are very proud to be the first voluntary community club in the country to run such a project and looking ahead the players committee members have discussed and suggested that the club offer help to the local community outside of the footballing environment.

"The development and respect ethos of the club remains at the heart of everything that the club does."

Meanwhile, a Down's Syndrome Association spokesman explained: "DSActive was created in response to the awareness of the sedentary lifestyles of many children and adults with Down's Syndrome and the subsequent health problems including obesity, resulting from lack of exercise and participation in sport.

"It was evident there was a need for specific Down's Syndrome sport."

DSActive currently have more than 40 football sessions and 20 tennis programmes running throughout England and Wales.