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Football outreach project gets extra £860k to meet demand

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It’s hoped that this investment will lead to greater and more flexible playing opportunities for all
– Kelly Simmons MBE, FA director of participation and development

More than 1,500 new football teams and 3,400 coaches will be created after the FA increased funding to its grassroots campaign.

The FA upped its investment in the Grow the Game scheme to £2.36m (US$3.11m, €2.63m) after the initial funding window saw “unprecedented demand from clubs”.

The initiative, delivered by the Football Foundation on behalf of the governing body, aims to increase participation in football among underrepresented groups – prioritising funding for women and girls, male teams from ages 13 and up, and disabled teams.

The additional £860,000 (US$1.12m, €974,498) funding will create 1,570 new football teams at grassroots level – 703 female teams, 642 male teams, 182 disability teams and 43 mixed teams – taking the total number of clubs awarded funding to 728. The funding injection will also create 3,405 newly trained coaches.

Each team a club creates can receive a grant of £1,500 (US$1,974, €1,700), helping to pay for FA coaching courses, FA league affiliation costs, referees’ fees, first aid kits, and football kit and equipment.

“It’s hoped that this investment will lead to greater and more flexible playing opportunities for all,” said Kelly Simmons MBE, FA director of participation and development.

“Grow the Game not only allows us to focus on helping those underrepresented groups within the grassroots game, but also unearth new groups who want to kick a ball and increase participation levels as a result.”

Paul Thorogood, CEO of the Football Foundation, added: “The Grow the Game scheme gets people from traditionally underrepresented groups playing the sport, something they would not have had the opportunity to do otherwise.

“The FA should be praised for their significant investment. As a result, we have helped to deliver a record number of new teams – the participation levels of which will be sustained over the long-term.”

From 2010 to last season, 3,728 women’s and girls’ team were created thanks to Grow the Game grants, bringing 56,839 new players into regular football participation in the process and 2,343 disabled female footballers.

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More than 1,500 new football teams and 3,400 coaches will be created after the FA increased funding to its grassroots campaign.
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The FA initially invested £1.5m to Grow the Game but has increased funds to £2.36m / The Football Foundation
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