Sport England supports FA and Vauxhall’s new programme to tackle youth drop-out
The FA and Vauxhall Motors have announced a new initiative aimed at tackling drop out from football by 14 to 17 year olds, with Sport England agreeing to match-fund £100,000 of Vauxhall’s investment through Sportsmatch.
According to HPI Research, several reasons including a realisation that they are not going to play professional football, club football becoming more competitive and external pressures such as school work, travel arrangements and part-time jobs are responsible for the decline in participation in this age group.
The FA and Vauxhall will offer a recreational form of football in after-school clubs which will be run by specialist FA coaches.
“Football plays an incredibly important role in grassroots sport, with more than 2.1 million people playing the game once a week”, said Sport England Chief Executive, Jennie Price. “We’re delighted that Vauxhall is working with The FA and Sport England to keep more youngsters involved in our national game by creating new recreational opportunities for them to take part.”
The FA and Vauxhall will appoint eight full-time specialist coaches to run up to 40 sessions per week across England for both boys and girls with the intention that they will inspire teenagers to get back into affiliated football in either small-sided or 11 v 11 formats.
“We are very excited to talk about our plans for youth football moving forwards and tackling the issues we are currently facing with youth participation”, said Vauxhall Managing Director, Duncan Aldred. “From the beginning of our sponsorship, we have been committed to supporting football from the grassroots game all the way through to the national senior teams, and it is vitally important for the future of the game in England that we address the significant drop out rates in this age group.”
“The FA is working closely with its Youth Partner Vauxhall alongside Sport England to understand the issues around the significant drop off in football at this age and ensure that we address this with the appropriate football offering tailored to engage the youth audience”, added FA Senior National Game Development Manager, Peter Ackerley. “This is about looking at what our young players are telling us and providing them with options to overcome the highlighted barriers, helping transition them into creating a football habit for life.”
The Sportsmatch programme brings additional funding to not-for-profit organisations that have secured sponsorship from the commercial sector, private individuals or charitable trusts to deliver new projects that get people playing and enjoying sport.
To find out more, visit www.sportengland.org/funding/sportsmatch