Premier League Players' Kit Scheme now open to youth teams in England and Wales
Grassroots football teams across England and Wales are being invited to apply for a new kit as the Premier League Players' Kit Scheme opens for a new application window.
Youth teams up to under-16 level can apply for a brand new Nike kit and football equipment for their squad, all paid for by Premier League players.
Each of the 20 Barclays Premier League teams donated £25,000 to create a £500,000 fund for the scheme, which is a joint initiative between the Premier League and the Professional Footballers' Association.
The fund provides schools, clubs and youth organisations in England and Wales with a full set of strips and training equipment, and aims to particularly benefit teams from areas with the greatest need.
Having kicked off last season, the Players' Kit Scheme provided kits to over 1,500 teams in its first year. The successful teams applied via the Premier League website during the first three application periods last season.
A fourth application phase has now opened, and the Premier League is encouraging teams throughout the country to apply.
Aston Villa captain Ron Vlaar and defender Enda Stevens (pictured) launched the latest application phase when they visited local school, Streetly Academy, to personally hand over the free football kit to their under-13 girls side.
"I arrived here from the Dutch Eredivisie in the summer and we don’t have anything similar to this back home. This is a new one for me and it’s a great scheme," said Vlaar.
"We donated the kit to the girls at Streetly Academy, and you know it’s something great because you see how happy everyone is. It’s also fun to see that they wear a shirt with my name on it and that it means something for them."
Bolton Woods JFC in Bradford were one of the 1,500 teams to benefit from the scheme last season - an event that helped increase pride in the club, according to General Manager Tony Miller.
“Bolton Woods Junior Football Club focuses on socially and economically deprived areas of the city," said Miller. "We had tried many times to secure funding for new kit, so to get it free courtesy of Premier League Players’ Kit Scheme is just fantastic.
"It has given our club a sense of pride that the Premier League had taken a positive step in recognising us.”
How does my club apply for the Premier League Players’ Kit Scheme?
The scheme is open to any club, school or youth organistation that meet all of the application criteria. Only one kit can be awarded per club/group and priority will be given to those that come from areas deemed to be in most need of assistance.
To be eligible for funding, groups must:
* Be within the qualifying age group: Under-7 to Under-16
* Have a minimum of ten registered members
* Be affiliated to an English or Welsh league
* Have a Safeguarding Children policy
* Hold appropriate Public Liability Insurance
To apply for the Premier League Players' Kit Scheme, click here.
Kits will be available to successful applicants from February 2013 onwards.
Win a Premier League shirt of your choice!
To mark the Premier League Players' Kit Scheme's latest application window, we've teamed up with the Premier League to offer one lucky winner a Premier League shirt of their choice, a football and a load more goodies.
Three runners-up will win a Premier League goody bag.
To get your name in the hat for this fantastic prize, get yourself over to our competitions page.