A new scheme is aiming to get more people playing grassroots football.
The Football Association is investing £1.5m into the Grow the Game scheme – a programme that aims to increase participation at the lowest levels of the game.
Delivered by the Football Foundation, Grow the Game awards grants to grassroots football clubs that wish to create new teams.
Applications are being encouraged from: women and girls; male teams of Under 14s and upwards; and disabled teams.
Grow the Game supports football’s diversity and is designed to be inclusive of players from different genders, ethnic backgrounds, faiths, ages, sexual orientations and those with disabilities. Applications from all of these groups are being encouraged.
Grants of up to £1,500 are available for each new team that a club creates, which can go towards FA coaching courses; FA league affiliation costs; referees’ fees; first aid kits; and even football kit and equipment.
The application window is now open, and closes on Wednesday, March 29.
Clubs seeking more information should contact their local County FA or visit www.footballfoundation.org.uk/apply/grow-the-game
England Men’s Senior Manager and Football Foundation Ambassador, Gareth Southgate, said: “For anyone wanting to create a new grassroots football team or even start up a brand new club, Grow the Game funding is vital.
“The money can help with the fundamentals of any burgeoning club, like buying new kit or training up coaches.
“It’s relatively small grants like these which make a huge difference to those who play or volunteer in our national game purely for the love of it.”
Last year the scheme achieved 2,159 new teams; 8,787 female footballers; 23,332 male footballers; and 5,715 new coaching qualifications.