Kelly Simmons MBE, football participation and development officer at the FA, spoke at Soccerex about how the new strategy to increase participation in grassroots football is working.
The new strategy was introduced in order to “give everyone who wants to play football, a chance to play football” said Kelly Simmons MBE.
One of the main areas of the strategy is the Park Life scheme. This scheme involves going around the UK city by city and finding out what facilities they have and what they need. 3G pitches are high up on the agenda with £130 million being raised by a 4 way partnership between the FA, Premier League, Football Foundation and Sport England. It is estimated that £50/60 million will be spent per city in order to improve the facilities.
The scheme will first start in Sheffield with a scheme called Sheffield Graves. Other cities that could follow are Liverpool and Southampton.
When talking about why improved facilities are needed Kelly Simmons said “young people need facilities to create an environment where they can feel comfortable playing and trying new tricks” she added “by creating more 3G pitches it will help young people to achieve this”