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Grow the Game
Grow the Game

Grow the Game

Read about some of the other teams created thanks to Grow the Game funding

Ossett Town Ladies FC

Having formed a successful women's team 10 years ago, Ossett Town Ladies began to experience huge demand from other women in the area also wanting to play regular football. 

A grant from the Grow the Game scheme in 2015 allowed Ossett to create a second Ladies team to meet this interest. The new side caters for women aged 16 and above.

Dan Robinson, Manager of Ossett Town Ladies, said: "We found that there was a demand for female football – either in the form of brand new players or those returning after time away from the game. A Grow the Game grant provided a fantastic opportunity to make competitive football for women available in the local area."

The club used its grant to pay for safeguarding courses, facility hire, new kit and league and affiliation fees. The grant has helped to provide the female community with new opportunities, and success stories already emerging from Ossett Town Ladies. 

"We’ve already had one complete novice join the new second team this year and by the end of the season, she was promoted to play in the established First Team in the West Riding County Women’s Premier Division", said Dan. "It was great to see someone completely new to the sport excel so quickly, which wouldn’t have been possible without Grow the Game funding."

Snowdon and Aylesham FC

Snowdon and Aylesham FC was formed back in 2003 as a youth section and fielded their first ever girls’ team thanks to Grow the Game funding in 2015. 

"We had a really committed group of young girls who wanted to put together a team, and thanks to Grow the Game funding we have been able to do exactly that", said Club Secretary Caroline Bryan. 

"The £1,500 has gone towards pitch hire for training and matches, new kit, a minibus to get to away games and promotional posters to attract even more players to the team. Even more importantly it is paying for four of our female coaches to do their FA Level 1 coaching qualifications."

With plans to offer more girls teams in the near future, this grant will be a springboard for Snowdon & Aylesham FC. "We really want to retain players after they are 16", says Caroline, "It’s important for the younger kids coming through that they look up to the older players and see a route to progress."

Rochdale Deaf Rhinos FC

Rochdale Deaf Rhinos FC was formed in 2014 thanks to a Grow the Game grant. 

Dewan Choudhury, the club’s Football Development Officer, said: “We had a group of young deaf players who were keen to play competitive football on a regular basis, and thanks to Grow the Game funding we have been able to turn this vision into a reality. 

"The £1,500 grant has gone towards pitch hire for training and matches, a new kit, affiliation to the Lancashire FA, promotional posters to attract new players and has paid for one of our volunteers to do their FA Level 1 coaching qualifications." 

The club trains and plays at Hopwood Hall College, which received a £917,310 grant from the Football Foundation in 2004 to develop a new third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP), changing rooms and natural grass pitches. 

In their debut season, Rochdale Deaf Rhinos FC won the Lancashire FA Ability Counts Cup. However, the club’s ambitions do not stop there. Dewan said: "We plan to develop an Under-21 team and also start junior disability football sessions."

"Without Grow the Game we would still be kicking a ball around at the local park. I would encourage any disability football team to apply for funding and help provide opportunities for people to enjoy the beautiful game."

Sandiacre Town Youth FC

Having received a Grow the Game grant back in 2013, Sandiacre Town Youth FC have seen their number of teams grow from 12 to 25, "five of which are thanks to funding from Grow the Game", said club Chairman, Alan Ure. 

"We used the money to buy kits and training equipment, which helped with the initial high costs of setting up the team. We’ve also managed to put 12 people through The FA’s Level One coaching course, and allowed myself to enrol in a Psychology course at St. George’s Park."

The stand-out performers from their Grow the Game funding is the club’s Under-19 team, who since their inception have become a strong side in the North Midlands Development League and had good runs in local cup competitions.

"Since the club started, we have seen six of our lads gain scholarships at Ilkeston Town who play in the Evostik Northern Premier, something of which wouldn’t have been possible without the creation of the new side through Grow the Game", said Alan. 

AFC Melksham

Since receiving their Grow the Game grant in 2015, AFC Melksham Disabled Football Club has been able to develop an adult’s team to partner their already established Under-16 side. 

The Grow the Game grant not only kept the Under-16 team in existence, it created a new adult team which created a players pathway between the junior and senior squads. “The money from Grow the Game allowed us to set up an adult’s team, without which would have left our Under-16 team in danger of folding”, said club chairman Mike Rogers. 

Not so long ago, the Standard Chartered club was only participating in friendly matches. However, after receiving their funding both teams are now affiliated to the Wiltshire FA and are participating in competitive leagues. Both age groups were successful last season, in which they won the Wiltshire and Dorset Disability League at Under-16 and adult level.

The club relies solely on external funding to reduce the costs that parents have to pay for their children to pay, with all coaches working on a voluntary basis. AFC Melksham Disabled FC prides itself on a community feel, with parents, carers and families all involved when the team participates in up to five annual tournaments. 

Additionally, the club has used its funding to employ a welfare officer, pay for league affiliation fees, and provide their coaches with level one and two courses. Mike Rogers concluded: "The club has grown fantastically and we have seen our players develop confidence, friendships and experiences which have seen many of them find work experience, which wouldn’t have been possible without funding from Grow the Game."