Dan Walker becomes Football Foundation ambassador
BBC One’s Football Focus presenter, Dan Walker, has become the Football Foundation’s latest signing after he agreed to become one of its Ambassadors. The Football Foundation is the country’s biggest sports charity and funds the development of better community sports facilities with money provided by the Premier League, The FA and government (via Sport England).
Dan joins the growing list of friends of the Foundation that includes Gary Neville, John Scales, Ben Shephard, Dion Dublin, Gareth Southgate, Graham Taylor, Georgie Bingham, Faye White and Peter Beardsley.
Dan Walker said: “I am thrilled to become an ambassador for the Football Foundation.
“The grassroots is so important to our national game and the volunteers that give up their weekends so people of all ages and abilities can play for the love of it deserve all the help they can get – and decent pitches and facilities.”
The Crawley Town FC fan has wasted no time in getting out and about to promote how Foundation partners’ funding is supporting the millions of grassroots players and volunteers at the community football level.
He presented a cheque for £150,000 of Foundation funding to Sheffield City Council which will help to develop a brand new floodlit third generation artificial grass pitch (AGP) in North West Sheffield, at the Wisewood Sports Centre. The two partner junior teams, Wisewood JFC and Sheffield Sixes JFC, will be two of the many clubs to benefit from the new pitch which will be managed by the newly-created Forge Valley School.
Lesley Whittington, Sheffield City Councillor and Senior Project Manager, said: “This project will make use of what would otherwise be a derelict former school site, involving several partners to provide a facility for activities that will raise participation in the area.
“We are extremely grateful for the grant awarded to us by the Football Foundation.”
Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 8,000 grants worth more than £420m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £520m.
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “Sheffield City Council has been extremely energetic and has worked tirelessly in partnership with the Sheffield and Hallamshire FA to secure this funding, and I am thrilled to see their hard work rewarded with this substantial Football Foundation grant.
“We are especially delighted to welcome Dan Walker as an Ambassador – and as a Sheffield resident it was a particularly fitting first visit to present a cheque on behalf of the Foundation towards developing a stunning new 3G surface at the Wisewood Sports Centre.
“The Foundation is committed to supporting projects like this one in Sheffield and right across the country with money generously provided by the Premier League, The FA, the Government (via Sport England), who have been our core funders since 2000.”
Other projects currently underway in Sheffield include the new Westfield Community Football Centre in south east Sheffield and a new AGP in Lowfield. Since the Foundation was set up in 2000 it has worked closely with the Sheffield and Hallamshire FA to support 87 grassroots sports projects across the county with grants worth over £13m. These grants have attracted further partnership funding of £40m into the area’s grassroots.
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