Sports Minister launches milestone football report

Hugh Robertson MP, Minister for Sport and the Olympics has officially launched the Football Foundation’s first ever annual Monitoring & Evaluation Report.

The document highlights the impact that the UK's number one sports charity and its partnership programmes - Barclays Spaces for Sports, Extra Time and Mayor of London: Facilities Fund - investment has achieved during 2011.

It further demonstrates the stages and processes undertaken to ensure the money received from the Foundation's funding partners – The FA, Premier League and Government – is achieving against its original aims and objectives.

Across the country over 700,000 people played sport at Foundation sites during the 2010-11 season, with overall participation increasing by 10.1% during this period.

A further 56,000 new players, across 2,600 new teams, will be taking up the beautiful game as a result of the Foundation’s Grow the Game scheme. That exceeded original targets by 13%.

Hugh Robertson MP said: “The Foundation has an excellent record of delivering first-class community sports facilities that increase access to sport for local people and improve the quality of their experience, making them more likely to participate and remain active.

“I am impressed with the detailed analysis that is contained in this Report, which demonstrates exactly what Football Foundation investment is achieving, including the excellent additional programmes it manages on behalf of the Mayor of London, Barclays and Comic Relief.

“The way that the Foundation is able to keep track of how each facility it invests in is performing, is not only an important tool for their business, but may also be a good model for other grant giving organisations.”

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation said: “This Report is something I am very excited about.

"I believe it will set the standard for organisations seeking to demonstrate the impact they are having with the money that is entrusted to them, something that is critical to the Third Sector – especially in these economically straitened times.

"In a single document we have clearly set out how Foundation grants are increasing and sustaining participation in football and other sports.

"This is without question the most detailed and insightful publication that the Foundation will produce. You will not find glossy photos and human interest stories here – although these can be found elsewhere on our website and in other Foundation literature. Instead, you will discover pure, hard data and analysis of what we have achieved with the money given to us.”

The Football Foundation directs £30m a year into grassroots sport in England, funded by equal contributions from its three core funding partners.

Of the £20m currently invested by the FA and the Government, £18.5m goes into the Grass Roots Facilities Fund - which provides money to develop new or improve facilities for community benefit - while £1.5m is allocated to the Grow the Game scheme, which provides grants of up to £5,000 for projects aiming to increase participation in grass roots football.

The Football Foundation also manages and administers the new Premier League Community Facility Fund (PLCFF), which aims to provide facilities aligned to professional football club community-led inclusion schemes which will serve to increase sports participation and physical activity. As a new scheme, details of the PLCFF so will be included in the 2012 report.

Click here to view the Football Foundation's Monitoring & Evaluation Report.

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