Clubs have until 17 February to apply for grants of £1,500 for each new team that it creates
Grassroots football clubs looking to grow their numbers are being invited to apply for a share of £1.5m of Football Foundation funding.
The Grow the Game scheme is designed to increase participation in grassroots football, by helping clubs to meet the essential costs of starting new teams, such as such as league entry, referees’ fees, first aid kits, FA coaching courses and football strips.
The current application window is open until 17 February, with £1,500 of funding available for each new team that a club creates.
Any clubs meeting basic eligibility criteria can apply, although this year sees a particular emphasis placed on increasing the number of teams and players from the under-15 age bracket and above, to address the decline in participation that has traditionally occurred as young people leave school and college.
Sky Sports presenter and Football Foundation ambassador, Ben Shephard, said: “Grow the Game makes a real difference to grassroots clubs and their volunteers across the country, so this funding, provided by the Premier League and the FA, is excellent news for them.
“This year we want to continue to increase participation across all age ranges, but particularly want to build on the success of last year by continuing to drive-up the numbers of people playing the game amongst under-represented groups, in particular the Under-15 age bracket and above, as well as women’s, girls’ and disability teams."
The Football Foundation is the country's largest sports charity. Funded by the Premier League, the FA, and the government, via Sport England, the Foundation has been involved in over £1bn of investment into grassroots football since it was launched in 2000.
Among that investment is Grow the Game, which has proved one of the Foundation's most popular schemes. During the 2012/13 season, Grow the Game grants created:
• 522 new teams.
• 18,207 new football players.
• 31 new players per grant per year, which was more than double the minimum target.
• 3,172 courses completed by volunteers.
• 5 new qualifications per grant per year, which is 66% more than the minimum target.
Clubs seeking more information on Grow the Game should contact their local County FA or visit footballfoundation.org.uk/funding-schemes/grow-the-game. The current application window is open until midday on Monday 17 February 2014.