The grant, which will provide a boost to grassroots football in Douglas, has paved the way for Douglas and District Junior Girl’s to create a number of junior girls teams in the 6 to 12 age range.
The Grow the Game scheme is designed to increase participation in our national game amongst under-represented groups by helping clubs to meet the essential costs of starting new teams. It is funded by the Premier League and The FA and delivered by the Football Foundation.
Grow the Game goes beyond providing temporary activity sessions, which are more susceptible to drops in participation, but instead creates a solid infrastructure of newly-trained coaches and grassroots teams that play in FA-affiliated leagues for the long term. This means that the participation increases elicited by Grow the Game are sustainable and long-term rather than transient.
Grow the Game grants enable clubs to provide regular football for three specific sections of society where there is a demand but also a lack of opportunities. These sections are: women and girls; disabled players; and boys and mens’ teams from the Under-15 age group and above. This demographic has been targeted specifically to address the decline in participation in male football that occurs as boys progress through school to the more crucial exam years and eventually leave school and college altogether.
Andy Gosnell, Douglas and District Girls Coach, said: the Football Foundation Grant has given the Douglas and District Girls coaches the impetus to start a junior girls’ team and the initial funding to help develop more teams with further Football Foundation funding support that is being made available over a three year period. Douglas and District Junior Girls new sponsor Skanco Business Systems Ltd, the leading provider of IT services in the Isle of Man have backed the Junior Girls project. Managing Director David Butterworth said “We are delighted to be involved with this project. Skanco have been a driving force behind local sport since it first opened its doors over 30 years ago and our passion to empower the local sporting community is just as strong today”.
A Football Foundation Ambassador and one of the UK’s best-known female sports journalists, Hayley McQueen, said: “Very well done to Douglas and District Junior Girls for working with the Football Foundation and Isle of Man FA to secure this Grow the Game grant. This investment, which is provided by the Premier League and The FA, has created an opportunity for more people to play football, which will not only keep them fit and healthy but also develop their life-skills.
“Grants like this one make a real difference to grassroots football. They help clubs meet the costs associated with starting a new team – like getting volunteer coaches qualified with FA coaching badges – and so help to drive up participation levels in the sport, especially amongst under-represented groups.”