Middlesbrough Charity Calendar To Boost ‘Team Talk’ Unemployment Project

Middlesbrough players have made a significant contribution towards a new scheme which is being launched to support Teesside men who have lost their jobs.

A number of the club’s first team squad posed topless for a charity calendar at the end of last year after pledging their desire to raise funds for a community project following the loss of over 1,000 jobs in the area.

Head of Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation Helena Bowman: “Our programmes have a proven record of improving the lives of Teesside people and we’re delighted to be able to deliver the Team Talk project. We would like to thank the players and all of the funding partners for giving us the opportunity to reach out to those in our region who are facing the challenges of unemployment.”

The £40,000 ‘Team Talk’ project, which is being backed by the Boro players, will target males aged 40 and over who have recently been made redundant, particularly in the areas most affected by the closure of Redcar’s SSI steelworks.

Cllr Mick Thompson, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Communities and Public Health: “Ever since the closure of SSI, Middlesbrough Football Club and its players have shown solidarity with the workers and the people of Teesside and supported the community every step of the way. “I’m pleased to see the money raised being used to fund Team Talk – sport is a great way of connecting with people – and that Middlesbrough Council and Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council are also using our resources to help people in the area affected by redundancy.”

The project has already received financial backing from Middlesbrough Council and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, as well as Public Health England and North of England Mental Health Development Unit (NEMHDU), and is further bolstered by £12,000 of investment – the proceeds from the hugely popular topless calendar.
Team Talk will consist of ‘sport and support’ sessions, utilising the Boro brand to tackle the many challenges faced by those who have been made unemployed.

Delivered by MFC Foundation, the official charitable arm of Middlesbrough Football Club, the project will be rolled out in five venues, or ‘boot rooms’ in Middlesbrough and the surrounding areas.

Boro’s players are set to have a continued involvement in the project, including at Team Talk’s launch event on April 26. Middlesbrough player George Friend commented: “Team Talk is a project which I hope will make a big difference to many people’s lives. The region is in real need of help and emotional support during what is a hard time, particularly after the decline of the steel industry. I’m positive that the Team Talk project will be able to aid those in need and show that the spirit of Teesside is alive and strong.”





Crawley COGS compete in FA People’s Cup Final in Sheffield

On Sunday 20th March, the Crawley COGS descended on Sheffield for the FA People’s Cup final. With two teams entered under the female veterans category, the COGS were placed in a group with four other vets teams from across the country. The first match of the day saw the two COGS teams pitched against each other in a nervous encounter. COGS 2 were the eventual winners, running out 2-1 winners against their peers.

The course of the day saw both teams compete in 10 minute matches against: Football Unites, Racism Divides, N16FC, Hackney Jurassics and the Wolfies. Despite a heroic effort by both COGS teams, it was FURD and Hackney Jurassics who made it to the overall final, with the latter securing the overall bragging rights with a 4-0 victory. crawley cogs2

Despite the results, the COGS had a fantastic day. All games were played in very good spirits, with all teams supportive of each other. Following the games, contact details were exchanged by all teams, with the view of running a summer tournament. All teams have also pledged to do their bit to get more teams involved next year!

Carol Bates is one of the original members of COGS, and has been influential in the success of the programme. She says: “This time last year the COGs (Crawley Old Girls) was just a dream. Since then, we have formed a large group of older ladies for a kickabout on a Thursday night and the COGs have now gone from strength to strength, with the coaching delivered by the Community Foundation.  It really has changed the lives of some of our ‘Old Girls’.”

Amy Fazackerley, FFD lead says: “The ladies should be incredibly proud of what they have achieved over the past year. Their commitment to raising the profile of ‘older’ ladies football has been fantastic. They are so passionate about getting others into the sport and have worked tirelessly to promote and inspire others. To get to a national final less than a year after first kicking a ball is an incredible achievement. In terms of the day itself, it was brilliant to see the teams interacting with each other. It was a day full of laughter, with some new friendships developed on the way too”.

Crawley Town FC and Crawley Town Community Foundation are delighted at this fantastic achievement. In just under a year, the group have gone from never kicking a ball to a national final, and have inspired many along the way. The aim now is to get more older ladies involved.

Local MP Andrew Griffiths Backs Project!

Burton MP Andrew Griffiths dropped into a Burton school to take a first-hand look at The Kinder +Sport Move and Learn project which is now into its second year of delivery and aims at encouraging youngsters to adopt a healthier lifestyles.

Burton Town Community Trust are one of 13 clubs that deliver the project alongside The Football League Trust which has had over 40,000 school children aged 9-10 moving and learning in its first successful year of delivery.

Riverview Primary School is one of hundreds of schools that take part in the Kinder +Sport Move and Learn project across the country.


Local MP Andrew Griffiths was impressed with the project.

He said: “It was great to see Burton Albion Community Trust doing what it does best – engaging with young people in schools. It builds the right kind of mentality and will help ensure these kids grow up being healthy and knowing what’s good for them”.

Richard Laming, from sponsors Ferrero, added: “What we love about the project is the way it brings together education about health and diet with a sports activity outside the classroom. It was great to see it being delivered at Riverview and all the happy faces of the youngsters”.

Riverview head teacher Mandy Whitehouse said: “We have a problem with obesity, so hopefully this will give the children the skills to take into secondary school and be healthier in adult life”.

Andy Taylor, head of community at BACT, said: “The Kinder +Sport Move and Learn project has been a big success and we are delighted that it has been so well received at Riverview”.

To find out more about The Football League Trust’s Kinder +Sport Move and Learn Project click here.

Football League Trust Celebrates International Women’s Day!

International Women’s Day last week, gave us a fantastic opportunity to promote gender equality and celebrate the achievements of women in sport.  Our Female Football Development programme has thousands of Girls involved and is going from strength to strength, so Women’s day was a great way for Community Trusts to share their success and recognise the contribution that women in sport make to society!

Falling on a Tuesday, when Rotherham United faced top of the league Middlesbrough, it seemed fitting to continue the celebrations throughout the night at that fixture. Various different guests were invited along to watch The Millers and to celebrate this annual event, some of the attendees included Brinsworth Whitehill Girls J.F.C, Rotherham United Ladies and participants who attend the ladies Boot camp sessions we deliver at Eastwood Village Community Centre, Thornhill Primary School and Blackburn Youth Club. Read more here: http://bit.ly/1UirkXP

Crawley Town got involved with International Women’s Day by organising a range of activities, including a girls’ football quiz. Participants at one of our FFD venues were tested on their knowledge on the history of women’s football, before they each made a #pledgeforparity. The girls chose football as the topic and pledged to improve gender parity within the sport by making girls football a hot topic amongst their friendship groups, joining a local girl’s team, supporting a football team and attending more matches, and learning more about football. After this, the girls participated in their usual FFD session, but named their teams after the players they most admired; Steph Houghton and Fara Williams.

crawley town girls

With our wider goals being Sport, Education, Inclusion, and Health, International Women’s Day gave our 72 community trusts an opportunity to tackle these, further encouraging female football participation!

Kinder+ Sport Futsal Cup Final at Derby Arena

Celebrating the Kinder + Sport Move and Learn at Parliament

Last week, ourselves and Ferrero went to Houses of Parliament to celebrate the success of our Kinder + Sport Move and Learn programme.

In the presence of guest of honour, Olympic hero Sally Gunnell, and numerous MP’s we talked about  the programme which this year will get over 30,000 children active and learning about the benefits of healthy eating.

There are strong links between our values and those of Ferrero. Like Ferrero, we believe in the need for a partnership approach to address pressing issues such as inactivity, obesity and the lack of understanding about nutrition and balanced lifestyles. These beliefs very much emulate the work we’ve been doing over the past year with the DCMS and Sport England to find ways to collectively get kids moving more from a younger age, and help them maintain this activity into the difficult teenage years and beyond into adulthood.

By partnering with companies like Ferrero, we are using the commercial resources that they are passionate about putting to good use, to make a valuable contribution to wider society – where we need it most.

Since we launched our partnership with Kinder + Sport in the UK in 2013, we’ve been delighted to see our work grow significantly in scale and impact.

Our flagship programme is + Sport Move and Learn which is a bespoke initiative for schools that we developed with Ferrero.  Alongside + Sport Move and Learn we also partner with Ferrero to deliver our national Kids Cup & Girls Cup together with the 72 FLT clubs, a number of holiday camps and the newly formed Kinder + Sport Futsal Cup.


The goal of + Sport Move and Learn is to help promote nutritional education and build awareness of the importance of physical activity.  What we value most at the FLT about + Sport Move and Learn is the focus for children on both practical activity and nutritional information.

Over the course of six weeks, children aged 9 and 10 at participating schools spend nine hours learning about the importance of a balanced diet and active lifestyle. Each week the children take part in a 90 minute session that involves 45 minutes of practical activity, either football, handball or dodgeball, and a 45 minute classroom-based session where they learn about topics related to the body; nutrition, the importance of exercise and information about food groups, in line with government recommendations in the Eatwell plate.

The programme was piloted in 2013 with Watford FC.  Since then, with Ferrero’s support, we have significantly expanded the programme to involve 18 football clubs this year across the UK and Ireland.

This year we will reach 31, 600 young people in 450 schools.  And we are reminded of why this initiative is so important when we hear the universally positive feedback from our clubs, from teachers, from parents and, of course, most importantly the kids taking part.

Mansfield Town in the Community Celebrate 25 years

It’s now 25 years since Mansfield Town in the Community was formed! As this inspirational film shows, in that time they have come a long way and used the power of sport to change many lives for the better.


The Rise of Female Football

In the past two years, over 30,000 women were recruited onto our Female Football Development programme, and last year a record number of girls were recorded to be participating in our Girl’s Cup. There is no doubt that female football is on the rise. To capitalise on this success, this year’s FA Girls’ Football Week will be expanded to two events to further enhance the rise of female football.

Commencing Monday 25 April, the first week will be centred primarily on the encouragement of primary and secondary schools to make football sessions accessible for girls. The second, taking place between 10th and 16th October, aims to raise participation at higher and further education establishments. In addition to this, clubs, community groups, and wider educational establishments along with other organisations are also being invited to run female-specific sessions during the week.5b_Editorial_Image_O12

In 2015, more than 16,000 people took part in the event, over triple the original target.  It is intended that 17,340 girls aged five to sixteen take part in the first week, a 20% increase on 2015.

The weeks are being delivered in partnership with Independent Schools FA, English Schools FA, Association of Colleges Sport, British Universities and Colleges Sport, the Premier League and the EFL Trust.  The FA is offering free-to-use resources to participating schools and institutions, which include session guides and promotional materials.  This can be accessed by registering the session at TheFA.com/GirlsFootballWeek.

Kelly Simmons, FA director of football participation and development, commented on the rise of female football: “Following the success of last year’s event it was decided that we could have an even bigger impact on participation levels by running two weeks, focusing on different areas… we hope that if more schools and groups put these sessions the girls will carry on playing regularly, particularly for teenagers where sport drop-out rates can be high… 2015 was a landmark year for women’s football and there’s no doubt that big occasions such as the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final at Wembley and the Lionesses achievements at the World Cup had a big impact on inspiring more girls to play”.

England and Chelsea forward Karen Carney said: “I visited one of the Girls’ Football Week sessions last year in Birmingham and it was great to see so many girls enjoying playing football… if schools can create more opportunities for girls to try football, then hopefully more will love playing.”

Football is the largest female team sport in England with more than 2.89 million players.  There are more than 5,900 women’s and girls’ teams playing affiliated club football.

For more information please click here.