The Football Foundation released their Annual Review recently, which is a summary of all the great work that has been going on in the grassroots game. The news was so good that it was praised by Football Foundation Ambassador Ben Shephard – you know, presenter of ITV’s Good Morning Britain and Sky Sports’ Goals on Sunday.
Findings include the fact that almost 30 million hours of sport were played at Foundation-funded facilities during the 2014/15 season – amazing! Ben said, “I have seen first-hand the massive impact Football Foundation facilities have on local communities.”
He’s right. The Review features details of funding awarded, projects delivered and outcomes achieved, like the fact that football participation increased on average by 7% and multi-sport by 8%. That means the Foundation’s facilities are encouraging more people to play sport. In fact, 811,767 played regularly at those facilities last year. Pretty impressive, right?
The Foundation delivers investment on behalf of its core Funding Partners – the Premier League, The FA and the Government/Sport England, and over the last year it has invested £18 million into 712 grassroots sports projects worth £47 million.
This means 44 new third generation (3G) artificial grass pitches (AGPs), 46 new properly-drained natural grass pitches and 49 new changing pavilions, as well as many other smaller, critically needed grassroots infrastructure projects. Chances are there is one near you, so grab a ball and get playing!
You can read the Annual Review here: http://footballfoundation.org.uk/about-us/publications/
Sky’s Hayley McQueen backs Grow the Game scheme
As well as releasing the Annual Review, Football Foundation had more good news this week after it announced their Grow the Game scheme was back. Foundation Ambassador and Sky Sports News Anchor, Hayley McQueen, has announced that £1.5m of funding has been set aside for applications.
Hayley said, “I think getting more people playing sport is very important so to give football teams the resources to do this is fantastic to see.”
The Grow the Game scheme is designed to increase participation by helping clubs with the costs associated with creating new teams.
The fund will boost playing opportunities for women and girls, disabled players and male teams of Under-14s-and-upwards. £1,500 is available for each new team that a club creates, which we hope will make a huge difference to clubs across the UK.
So, if you’ve ever wanted to start a team, now is your chance! The application window for Grow the Game applications opens on Monday, February 1 2016 and closes Thursday, March 10 2016. For more information visit www.footballfoundation.org.uk/apply/grow-the-game/