Date published: 28/10/2015
James Heappey, MP for Wells, paid a visit to local club, Axbridge Saxons Youth FC on Saturday (24 October) to present a £4,500 Grow the Game cheque on behalf of the Football Foundation.
The funding will go towards the creation of new teams for girls aged 11-15, and James took the time to speak to the young footballers before presenting a cheque to the team and coach, Jason Webster.
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 awarded 2,319 separate grants worth around £8.6m to grassroots football clubs. Forecasts suggest that this will result in the creation of 6,777 brand new football teams competing in FA-affiliated leagues, 91,702 new players participating each week and 23,586 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.
James Heappey, MP for Wells, said: “It was a real treat to visit Axbridge Saxons FC on Saturday morning and to join in with the girls team’s training session. The enthusiasm for football was obvious and there was some silky skills on show too!”
“The investment from the Football Foundation will allow coaches at the club to become qualified to FA standards and will mean the youth teams at Axbridge Saxons to grow, giving more young people the opportunity to play the beautiful game locally.”
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.
“Congratulations to Axbridge Saxons Youth for working with the Somerset County FA to secure a £4,500 Grow the Game grant which will certainly help to support football development in the area as well as increase participation in the region.
“It is also great to see local MP James Heappey supporting the growth of the grassroots game across Wells and was delighted to see him hand over the cheque to Axbridge Saxons on behalf of the Foundation.”
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