102 new grassroots teams will be created in Lancashire thanks to £153,000 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 211 volunteer coaches to become trained up in the relevant qualifications, in order to deliver age and ability appropriate coaching at the new teams.
The grants have enabled clubs in Lancashire to develop a number of teams across a variety of age groups, all at key strategic areas within the grassroots game.
This includes under 14yrs mainstream male and female teams through to adults and Vets provision as well as pan disability provision, all of which are key areas that require targeted support in order for to see further development and long term sustainability.
Click here to learn more about this year's Grow the Game investment across the country
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.
Iain Kay, Football Development Manager at Lancashire FA, said: “The volunteers in Lancashire work tirelessly supporting and developing new provision and the generation of any new team requires funding to cover costs such as pitch hire, kit, equipment, coach education and transport to name but a handful of areas.
“The Grow the Game grant offers volunteers a direct financial resource to offset these costs, supporting any club in the development of the new team / teams and without this support we may never see these teams come to fruition.”
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 102 new teams and 211 new coaches across the Lancashire 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 Lancashire. 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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