Grassroots football in Blackpool has been given a helping hand following a £5,000 Grow the Game grant from the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity.
The grant will allow Blackpool FC Girls and Ladies to create two to three new teams and get more female footballers playing across the Fylde Coast. They’re currently looking at a new adult reserve team and new Under-9s and Under-10s girls squads. This grant will also help them recruit new coaches and further their development on FA courses.
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 FA.
So far Grow the Game has awarded 874 separate grants, worth around £4.2m, to grassroots football clubs. Analysis of the monitoring and evaluation so far predicts that this will result in the creation of 3,791 brand new football teams competing in FA-affiliated leagues, 72,872 new players participating each week and 10,959 new qualifications or courses being completed.
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.
Michaela Barlow, Blackpool FC Girls and Ladies’ Club Secretary, said: “This award from the Football Foundation is a massive boost for our club which will allow many more girls the opportunity to play football and help further the development of existing and new coaches.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, added: “Grow the Game has become one of the Foundation’s most popular schemes. This additional funding provided by The FA is excellent news for grassroots clubs seeking to start new teams and get their volunteer coaches qualified with FA coaching badges.
“This most recent funding window has seen £2.1m invested into 420 clubs right across the country.
“Congratulations to Blackpool FC Girls and Ladies for working with the Lancashire Football Association to secure their £5,000 Grow the Game grant which will increase participation in the region as well as support football development in the area.”