Ben Shephard, ITV’s Good Morning Britain and Sky Sports Goals on Sunday presenter, spoke of his delight after grassroots football in Stalybridge received a £1,500.00 boost in the form of a Grow the Game grant from the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity.
The grant will allow Stalybridge Celtic Foundation to create an adult pan-disability Football Team, for weekly training sessions and competitive fixtures each month, along with the training of two coaches.
The Premier League and The FA fund the Grow the Game scheme with £1.9m, which is delivered 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.
The key strength of Grow the Game is that its participation increases are sustainable rather than transient. Its grants create a solid infrastructure of teams and newly-trained coaches in which new people can start playing the sport, rather than simply providing temporary activity sessions, which are then vulnerable to drops in participation once the programme ends.
With an 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 girl’s, women’s and disability teams.
Mike Smith, Stalybridge Celtic Community Development Officer said: “This is fantastic news for us and will enable us to set up our pan-disability team to allow adults with a disability to come along each week to train and play for Stalybridge Celtic FC”.
A Football Foundation Ambassador and a keen footballer himself, Ben Shephard said: “This Grow the Game funding, provided by the Premier League and The FA, is excellent news for Stalybridge Celtic FC. They deserve real credit for working with the Football Foundation and Cheshire FA to help secure the grant.
“Grow the Game funding makes a tangible difference, it helps to increase participation in the sport. It allows clubs at the lowest levels of the game to pay for things associated with starting new teams, like making sure their volunteer coaches can get qualified with FA coaching badges.”
About Grow the Game –
The Football Foundation through its Grow the Game scheme created:
- 1,753 new teams.
- 20,500 new football players per £1.5m invested.
- 6,071 new female footballers.
- 2,209 disabled footballers since 2010.
- 5,747 new coaching qualifications.
About the Football Foundation:
The Football Foundation was launched in 2000. Since then, using money from its Funding Partners – the Premier League, The FA and the Government via Sport England, the Foundation has awarded around 13,000 grants worth more than £520m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £736m – over £1.24bn of investment into the grassroots game.