31 new grassroots teams will be created in Somerset thanks to £46,500 of new investment in the form of Grow the Game grants.
In addition to the many new football teams that will be created, the Grow the Game grants will also allow for 47 volunteer coaches to become trained up in the relevant qualifications, in order to deliver age and ability appropriate coaching at the new teams.
The Grow the Game scheme is funded by The FA and delivered by the Football Foundation. The programme is designed to increase participation at the lowest levels of the game with grants of £1,500 available for each new team that a club creates.
Applications from demographics identified as having been traditionally underrepresented in the sport – namely, women and girls; male teams of Under-14s-and-upwards and disability teams – were prioritised.
The funding can help a burgeoning club pay for the fundamentals, including: FA coaching courses; FA league affiliation costs; referees’ fees; first aid kits; and even football kit & equipment.
County Development Manager Brendan Dix. said: “Any Investment made in the grassroots game has the potential to breathe new life and opportunities for all to enjoy , which in return will positively impact each and every individual involved regardless of what their path is in the game.
These grants will create teams across all formats of football from mini-soccer to adult 11v11 male, female and disability within Somerset.”
Kelly Simmons MBE, The FA’s Director of Participation and Development, said: “Grow the Game not only allows us to focus on helping groups within the grassroots game, but also unearth brand new teams who want to kick a ball and increase participation levels as a result.
“The proposition of 31 new teams and 47 new coaches across the Somerset area is extremely encouraging and this investment – which is provided by The FA and delivered by the Football Foundation – means that participation in our national game will increase, especially amongst underrepresented groups.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “This is excellent news for grassroots football in Somerset. Grow the Game, which is delivered by the Football Foundation, is about creating long-term participation increases and getting people playing who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to do so. The FA deserves credit for directing investment to help train new coaches and get teams playing in affiliated leagues.”
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Notes to editors
Grow the Game is delivered by the Football Foundation, the nation’s largest sports charity. Last year the scheme achieved:
- 2,159 new teams.
- 8,787 female footballers.
- 23,332 male footballers.
- 5,715 new coaching qualifications.
Since it was launched in 2010, the Grow the Game scheme has attracted a total of:
- 161,285 new football players into playing regular football.
As well as delivering Grow the Game, the Football Foundation delivers the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund on behalf of the Premier League, The FA and the Government, through Sport England. Since 2000, the Foundation has supported over 15,000 grassroots projects worth more than £1.4bn.