Ben Shephard: ‘£1.5m will help Grow the Game amongst under-represented groups’

Ben Shephard - Grow the Game

Ben Shephard – Grow the Game

TV presenter and Football Foundation Ambassador, Ben Shephard, announced today that £1.5m of funding from the Premier League and The FA will be made available to aid the development of grassroots football clubs.

Any clubs can apply, providing they meet basic eligibility criteria, although this year sees a particular emphasis placed on increasing the number of teams and players from the Under-15 age bracket and above, to address the decline in participation that has traditionally occurred as young people leave school and college. The other key focus is on growing the numbers of girls’, women’s and disability teams.

Clubs will be able to access grants through the Grow the Game Scheme, which will be managed by the Football Foundation, the nation’s largest sports charity. The scheme is designed to increase participation in our national game by helping clubs to meet the essential costs of starting new teams.

£1,500 of funding will be available for each new team that a club creates. The Grow the Game grants can go towards helping to cover the costs incurred for league entry, referees’ fees, first aid kits, FA coaching courses and football strips.

The window for Grow the Game applications will open on Monday 6 January 2014 and close on Monday 17 February 2014.

Ben Shephard explained: “Grow the Game makes a real difference to grassroots clubs and their volunteers across the country, so this funding, provided by the Premier League and The FA, is excellent news for them.

“This year we want to continue to increase participation across all age ranges, but particularly want to build on the success of last year by continuing to drive-up the numbers of people playing the game amongst under-represented groups, in particular the Under-15 age bracket and above, as well as women’s, girls’ and disability teams.

“The application window opens on Monday 6 January, and any clubs that are interested in applying for a grant should visit www.footballfoundation.org.uk, or speak to their local County FA to find out more information.”

Funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, via Sport England, the Football Foundation is the country’s largest sports charity. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 9,600 grants worth more than £412m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £565m.

For clubs seeking more information on Grow the Game should contact their local County FA or visit www.footballfoundation.org.uk/apply/grow-the-game/.

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