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FA partners with education institutions to stimulate participation figures

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The Football Association (FA) has partnered with more than 170 further and higher education institutions to grow the number of grassroots players and clubs.

Through its relationship with British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) and Association of Colleges (AoC), the football governing body will deliver football programmes for more than 70,000 grassroots players over the next year through its College and University Football Hubs project.

Participants will have the opportunity to play for a further 250 grassroots teams that are being created as part of the scheme, while another 3,140 students will be encouraged to get into the game through volunteering, or acting as administrators, coaches or referees.

Funding for the scheme has come from the FA’s Whole Sport Plan grant, which has been provided by Sport England.

As part of the scheme, the FA has requested that colleges and universities create partnerships with local community football clubs by offering access to their playing facilities.

One of the first projects to have been funded was a 12-16 year-old female youth development programme organised by the University of Birmingham through a £3,000 FA grant. Around 40 university students mentored 150 schoolgirls from seven local secondary schools.

Kelly Simmons, FA director of grassroots football, said the programmes creates “an environment that enables players to develop, creating lots of flexible playing opportunities to access football, while providing access to high quality facilities”.

“The model encourages universities to work with their local communities, bringing students and staff closer to the people around them,” added Sport England executive director of community sport Mike Diaper.

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The Football Association (FA) has partnered with more than 170 further and higher education institutions to grow the number of grassroots players and clubs.
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The FA hopes the scheme reaches 70,000 football participants
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