Page 4 - ONSIDE Issue 30

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TV personality, Ben
Shephard, put his boots on
to support the award of
a series of grants by the
Foundation to increase
football participation across
the country.
Sky Sports’ Goals on Sunday presenter,
whom we are also very proud to have
on board as an Ambassador, presented
a cheque to PutneyTown Football Club
before joining in a training session with the
squad. Asked whether he’d be willing to
join the team after impressing them during
training, Ben replied that he’d love to – only
he works on Sunday mornings!
Ben said:
“The boys here are trying to
increase participation so that they can
have two teams playing on a Sunday.
Last season, they reached three semi-finals
and came second in the League. Hopefully
the money from the Foundation will help
them build on that success next season.”
The Grow the Game grant will allow Putney
Town FC to increase the number of male
football teams at the club and increase the
participation levels by 80% over two years.
Ben added:
“I am lucky enough to work at
the top of the game, covering the Premier
League and Champions League. None of
that would happen without the grassroots
game.The better our grassroots football
is, the better the chance England has of
winning an international tournament.”
John Bedford, PutneyTown FC Secretary,
“We were delighted to receive
funding from the Foundation to aid the
development of our club.The money
will fund coaching courses and
equipment, and has allowed us to have a
pre-season coaching session with a UEFA-
qualified coach.”
So far Grow the Game has awarded 887
separate grants worth £4.3m to grassroots
football clubs. Analysis of the monitoring
and evaluation to date predicts that this will
result in the creation of 3,716 brand new
football teams competing in FA-affiliated
leagues, 70,489 new players participating
each week and 14,111 new qualifications or
courses being completed.
What is so impressive about our Grow
the Game scheme is the sustainability of
the numbers. Grow the Game grants
create an infrastructure of FA-affiliated
teams and newly-trained coaches, rather
than simply providing ad-hoc activity
sessions, which are then vulnerable to
drops in participation once the programme
and funding have finished.
Ben helps us
grow the game
| The Football Foundation Magazine | Issue 30