Lionesses boss, Phil Neville is urging participants across England to take advantage of this year’s drive to increase the number of female and disability football teams at grassroots level.
The community scheme is back for 2019 with an investment of £1.5m to encourage even more people from under-represented groups, including deaf and disabled people into regular grassroots football participation.
Grants of £1,500 will be made available to every new team created, helping to relieve the financial burden on clubs. The funding can help towards FA coaching courses, league affiliation costs, referees’ fees, first aid kits or even kit and equipment.
Head Coach of England women’s football team, Phil Neville said:
“Given both my professional and personal backgrounds, this scheme is particularly close to my heart.
“I work with some fantastic professionals in the England Women’s Senior Team and know that playing for their country has been a dream come true. Providing as many opportunities as we can for girls and women to get involved in the game is crucial if we are to continue developing the women’s game at all levels.
“Secondly, as a father of a daughter with a disability, I firmly believe this should never act as a barrier to sports participation.
“I’m delighted to learn of the growth in the number of disability teams across the country, and the further funding that has been made available to support future development, giving more people than ever before the chance to get involved in the game.
“If this scheme can help inspire more women and girls and disabled people to play football and provide them with the opportunities to chase their dreams, then it deserves to be applauded!”
The ‘Grow the Game’ scheme, which is FA-funded and delivered by the Football Foundation, saw more than 1,000 new female and disability teams created across the country last year.
Since launching in 2010, the scheme has helped to create over 11,000 new teams, delivering new playing opportunities to an estimated 144,000 community footballers. In 2018, the scheme helped to support the growth of 872 female and 294 disability football teams.
The application window for Grow the Game is now open and closes on Thursday 28 March. Apply on the Football Foundation website.
Photo credit: FA