Date published: 14/10/2014
Maria Eagle MP gave grassroots football a boost in her Garston and Halewood constituency recently, when she presented local club Thorndale FC with a £1,500 Grow the Game cheque from The Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity.
Thorndale FC worked alongside the Liverpool FA in order to secure the £1,500 grant which will allow the club to create a new male Under-18 team. The club were in desperate need of a new team to accommodate players who would soon become too old for their current Under-16 squad. A lack of local alternative teams would have meant players dropping out of the game altogether.
Grow the Game funding increases participation in our national game by helping clubs to provide opportunities for new players, or training volunteers to support new players and teams. The programme is delivered in partnership with all of the 46 County FAs and funded by the Premier League and The FA.
So far Grow the Game has funded 1,261 clubs with grants worth in total around £6.1m, creating 6,777 new grassroots teams. This has meant 7,937 coaching courses have been funded, with 91,702 new players being introduced to a regular weekly football programme, which clearly executes the Football Foundation’s focus on creating new players and new coaches to manage and train up and coming talent.
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.
Maria Eagle, MP for Garston and Halewood said: “I am so pleased to see grassroots football in my constituency receiving the investment it needs. I visited a Thorndale FC training session to see how the grant will benefit the club and was happy to hear that a new Under-18 team would be created as a result of the funding. I thank the Football Foundation for the crucial work they do supporting projects like Thorndale FC’s in my constituency.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “The Grow the Game Scheme has been excellent for grassroots clubs looking to create new teams and get their volunteer coaches qualified.
“I would like to congratulate Thorndale FC for working with the Liverpool FA to secure a Grow the Game grant of £1,500, which will undoubtedly help to support the development of football in the area and increase participation in the sport.”
“Thanks to Maria Eagle MP for supporting grassroots football in her constituency, and I am delighted to see her hand over the cheque to Thorndale FC on behalf of the Foundation.”