Park Life: FA funding in place for grassroots football in Leeds

England coach, Gareth Southgate. PIC: Adam Davy/PA Wire
England coach, Gareth Southgate. PIC: Adam Davy/PA Wire
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Aspiring grassroots footballers from two underrepresented groups will soon have the opportunity to play in more teams thanks to the Grow the Game programme, a £1.5m investment by The FA.

Grow the Game, which is delivered by the Football Foundation and first launched back in 2010, offers grants to grassroots football clubs that wish to create new teams. This year, applications are being encouraged from clubs who want to start women’s and girls’ teams, and disability teams. Grow the Game grants help to reduce the costs associated with starting new grassroots football teams by making £1,500 available for each that a club creates. Expenditure that the funding can help a club pay for includes FA coaching courses, FA league affiliation costs, referees’ fees, first aid kits, football kits and equipment through a bespoke voucher.

The window for Grow the Game applications is now open and closes on March 29. More information is available from the West Riding County FA and the Football Foundation website.

In addition, male teams of Under-17s and upwards that already exist will soon be able to apply for support from The FA’s new retention-focused scheme, called Retain the Game, which will offer £1m to successful applicants and will launch in April. It will allow open-age male teams to apply for financial support to aid their continued participation in the game.

Grow the Game is inclusive of players from different genders, ethnic backgrounds, faiths, ages, sexual orientations and those with disabilities. Applications that originate from, or provide for, underrepresented communities are being encouraged.

England boss Gareth Southgate, said: “I am delighted that the Grow the Game programme is back. It means the pool of players in this country continues to widen.”