Sported, a charity supporting grassroots sports groups, has partnered with Barclays to deliver a new community fund, providing grants to groups making football more accessible at the grassroots level.
This is perfectly timed, after the success of the Women’s EURO when groups are being overwhelmed with girls wanting to play and need help to accommodate them.
Grants of £500 are available for groups wishing to start offering football, those keen to expand their existing provision to new audiences or those already delivering football to under-represented young people. Alongside the grants, the programme will be offering training and support resources to help reduce inequalities in the participation of football. The programme’s engagement will focus on including girls and young people from lower socio-economic and under-represented groups: including racially diverse communities, young people with disabilities, and young people from the LGBTQ+ community.
The aim of the partnership is to encourage participation in football at every level. The programme will offer community groups the opportunity to access a £500 grant to be spent on whatever they need to deliver their football activities to young people from diverse backgrounds.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion training to help increase group leaders’ confidence in engaging new and under-represented audiences will also be on offer. The training covers key topics in sport including Engaging teenage girls, Engaging with diverse communities, Disability awareness, LGBTQ+ awareness and TacklingRacism.
Groups will also receive a set of branded football bibs for their participants, offers to access Premier League and Barclays Women’s Super League tickets and the opportunity to nominate young role models from their group, as well as the amazing coaches and volunteers who make it all happen.
Eric Dier, Sported Ambassador and Tottenham Hotspur defender said: “Football is not just about sport and fitness; it brings so many benefits to young people such as confidence, teamwork, mental wellbeing and so much more.
"Grassroots sports groups are vital to making the sport accessible to children up and down the country and the Barclays Community Football Fund is striving to make groups more inclusive so that more people can benefit from playing the game. I have visited several grassroots sports groups in the Sported network and seen the positive impact they have on the young people who attend them. It is really exciting that as a result of this partnership, more children will get to benefit.”
Nicola Walker CEO Sported: “It is an absolute privilege to work with a partner who cares so deeply about equal access to football and we are delighted that together we can reach hundreds of community groups to make football more accessible to all.”
Applications are welcome from all types of organisations including football clubs, community groups, youth groups and charities.
To be eligible, groups must meet the following criteria:
- You are a not-for-profit organisation and have a governing document e.g. Constitution or Articles of Association in place. Unfortunately, we cannot fund companies limited by shares.
- You have a bank account in the name of your organisation. We cannot fund individual personal accounts.
- You have an up-to-date safeguarding policy in place.
- You are delivering football activities to young people (aged up to 24 years) OR you are wanting to start
- You already include an offering for girls or you are wanting to start
- You have the aspiration and capacity to grow your membership of young people from under-represented groups. This includes girls, young people with disabilities, from racially diverse communities and from the LGBTQ+ community.
- You are keen to access training to learn about how to engage with new under-represented audiences.