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Ben Shephard: ‘£1.5m will help Grow the Game amongst under-represented groups’

TV presenter and Football Foundation Ambassador, Ben Shephard, announced that grassroots clubs in West Riding can apply for grants from a £1.5m fund made available by the Premier League and The FA to aid the development of grassroots football clubs across the country.

Providing West Riding clubs meet basic eligibility criteria, anyone can apply, although this year sees a particular emphasis placed on increasing the number of teams and players in the Under-15 and above age bracket, an age group where participation numbers traditionally decline as youngsters leave school and college. The other key focus is on growing the numbers of girls’, women’s and disability teams.

Clubs in West Riding will be able to access grants through the Grow the Game Scheme, which will be managed by the Football Foundation, the nation’s largest sports charity.

The window for Grow the Game applications will open on Monday 6 January 2014 and close on Monday 17 February 2014.

Grow the Game funding is designed to increase participation in our national game by helping clubs to meet the essential costs of creating new teams. The grants can help pay for things like league entry, referees fees, first aid kits, FA coaching courses and kits. £1,500 will be available towards creating a new team.

Ben Shephard explained: “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 and above group, as well as women’s, girls’ and disability teams.

“The application window opens on Monday 6 January, and any clubs that are interested in applying for a grant should visit the Grow the Game section of the Foundation’s website, or speak to West Riding County FA to find out more information.”

Funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, via Sport England, the Football Foundation is the country’s largest sports charity. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 9,600 grants worth more than £412m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £565m.

For clubs seeking more information on Grow the Game, please contact West Riding County FA via email -  growthegame@wrcfa.com or call 0113 282 1222 (option 1).  Further information is available at www.footballfoundation.org.uk/apply/grow-the-game/.

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