New National Sport Strategy Tackles Inactivity

The Football League Trust is backing Sport England’s new Strategy for the future of sport that was released this week.

As well as continuing to support people who already play sport, there will be a much greater emphasis on groups who are typically much less active such as women, disabled people and those from lower-socio-economic backgrounds. 1487811_871411929554348_345700788928764935_o

Mike Evans, Director of Operations at the Football League Trust, comments, “The new strategy places a much stronger emphasis on the benefits that taking part in sport can bring, such as improving both physical and mental health, social cohesion and reducing crime. This is an approach that 72 Football League Community Trusts in our network have been taking with considerable success for a numerous years.  For example our Female Football Development programme, is very much about getting inactive women and girls from all backgrounds involved in sport with the focus firmly on fun and fitness.”

Arsenal and England women’s footballer Jordan Nobbs visits the Stadium Ball Court on Monday to promote the Crawley old girls (COGS) initiative. COGS is aimed at older ladies who have an interest in football and was set up through the Crawley Town Community foundation with funding from the Football League Trust Female Football Development scheme. James Boardman / TELEPHOTO IMAGES 07967642437

Sport England will spend £250 million to combat inactivity as part of five-year strategy which also include dedicated funding to get children and young people active from the age of five, Mike continues. “Because football clubs are in the heart of their communities they are very effective at getting young people active. Our Trusts an incredible amount of work in schools already with programmes such as Kinder+Sport Move and Learn are getting children active as well as teaching them the benefits of healthy eating.” 32

More about the strategy

The strategy will help deliver against the six health, social and economic outcomes set out in the Government’s Sporting Future strategy.

Key features of the new strategy are:   

  • Dedicated funding to get children and young people active from the age of five, including a new fund for family based activities and offering training to at least two teachers in every secondary school in England to help them better meet the needs of all children, irrespective of their level of sporting ability
  • Working with the sport sector to put customers at the heart of everything they do, and using the principles of behaviour change to inform their work
  • Piloting new ways of working locally by investing in up to 10 places in England – a mix of urban and rural areas
  • Investing up to £30m in a new volunteering strategy, enabling more people to get the benefits of volunteering and attracting a new, more diverse range of volunteers
  • Helping sport keep pace with the digital expectations of customers – making it as easy to book a badminton court as a hotel room
  • Working closely with governing bodies of sport and others who support people who already play regularly, to help them become more efficient, sustainable and diversify their sources of funding.

Read the new strategy Towards an Active Nation.

FA Cup Girls’ Football Festival A Winner

Women’s football was a big winner last weekend with SSE Women’s FA Cup Final and FA Girls’ Football Festival both thriving successes

Wembley saw a fantastic SSE Women’s FA Cup match on Saturday with Arsenal Ladies successfully securing the prestigious title for a record 14th time. Prior to the match the atmosphere was buzzing with another fantastic FA Girl’s Football Festival at Wembley Powerleague. The festival was run by The FA, Premier League and the Football League Trust and saw over 200 girls from 20 clubs across England participating in 5-a-side matches as well as getting involved with a huge array of fun football activities.

This unique tournament is a celebration of the over 60,000 young women who have joined the world of football since October 2013 through the Football Participation Programme. The festival was a great day for young girls to get out on the pitch with their team mates and compete against other clubs. The games were competitive and exciting for the U-16 participants who were specifically invited by the Football League Trust and Premier League with Brighton and Hove Albion FC, coming out victorious wining the tournament. Being at Wembley Powerleague was a great opportunity for the girls to show off their skills in the shadows of Wembley Stadium connected by EE, perhaps driving them in the future to aspire to play themselves on the hallowed turf.

brighton winners

Wigan Athletic participant: “This has been such a fantastic day! Having the opportunity to be at Wembley is incredible for us. The festival was great to take part in between our games, especially competing on the speed cage. Now we all can’t wait for the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final; it’s going to be brilliant!”

The FA’s commitment to encouraging more girls to get stuck into the game through their “We Can Play” campaign, which has provided a fun day out for clubs, their players and families. With football-based activities and competitions keeping festival-goers busy and active, it really is an all-round success. Skill driven exercises such as the ever popular batak board reaction testing and target shooting were an excellent opportunity for keen players to check up on their abilities and see how they might improve their game!

During the downtime, there was music, hair braiding and face painting on site. All round The FA Girls’ Football Festival in association with Continental Tyres Festival had something for everyone.

If this wasn’t enough action already, Oxford United players, Katharine Nutman and Lauren Haynes made a special appearance showing off their football skills and answering questions about playing at the top of the game. This was a real inspiration for younger players.

Katharine Nutman said: It was a fantastic occasion and a real celebration of how far women’s and girl’s football has come in recent years. There were a great variety of activities for the girls to get involved with and it was great to see girls of different abilities all enjoying themselves.

With the Premier League and The Football League Trust supporting women in football across the country and delivering sessions through their member clubs, the future will see many more young women joining the game!

Walking Football Regional Finals 2016

This Saturday, Football clubs from around the country will compete in the Walking Football Regional Finals for a place to compete at the prestigious St Georges Park on 7th June.

Acting as a prime opportunity to stay active, Walking Football is a brilliant way for the older generation to stay active and keep fit, participating in a sport that they love. A slow-paced version of the game which is aimed specifically at the over 50’s, allows participants to cover 30 miles and burn 4,200 calories over a 3 month period, just by playing for 1 hour a week.

Every May and June, we run the Walking Football Cup, in which EFL Clubs hold a local competition through their community trust. The winners are then selected to represent their club at a regional level. The top 2 teams in each region then qualify for the finals. Last year, Plymouth took the winning title with a 2-1 win in the final against Blackpool. Walking football has been growing year-on-year, with 56 of the 72 clubs taking part this year, the competition has been tougher than ever.

Commencing in Derby on Monday 9th May, teams representing Derby County, Burton Albion, Nottingham Forest, Mansfield Town, Walsall, Crewe Alexandra, Coventry City and Wolverhampton Wanderers all made the trip to the Moorways Sports Centre to take part in the Regional Finals of the competition. Mansfield Town were the overall winners, beating Nottingham Forest 1-0 in the the final.

14th May will see the remaining 4 finals take place. With over 40 teams taking part throughout the day at Blackpool, Doncaster, Exeter and Luton, Saturday is a big day for Walking Football.

How We Use the Power of Sport to Change Lives

“Thanks to the football club I’ve become the person I always knew I could be.”

For Lizzie, alcohol and drugs used to be the norm. But thanks to Derby County’s Active Choices drug and rehabilitation programme, Lizzie has been drug free for two years and has moved from supported housing to living independently.

Having built confidence, developed social skills and improved her all round wellbeing, Lizzie’s story is just one of many that highlights just how Football League clubs and the work of their community trusts are improving lives the length and breadth of the country.

With 72 club trusts in its network, we are a national charity using the power of sport and the magnetism of associated Football League club badges to connect with people in local communities that many organisations struggle to reach.

Guided by four key themes of sport, education, health and inclusion, the work of our network has significant social value be it inspiring people to learn, supporting people into a healthier lifestyle or providing opportunities to disengaged and disadvantaged individuals.


A focus on social outcomes

With a “new focus on social outcomes” in the Government’s recently released New Strategy for Sport, we welcome this policy shift and believe that it is well placed to help support the strategy’s aims through a wide range of work undertaken by its 72 member clubs.

Brentford, just one of the 72 members, had its contribution to the community independently estimated to be £8.5m last year. The value of its work in the community was recognised by the Council when it came to approving the plans for a new stadium:

“The Council also affords weight to the fact that the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust has extensive preventative health, sporting participation and education benefits that would enhance the health, well-being and social opportunities for many people in the area.”

And while football is a core part of the operation, we are neither a ‘football organisation’ nor a ‘governing body’, but instead a diverse organisation that uses a variety of sports to deliver projects that offer real social impact.


More than football

By keeping sport at the heart of the operation, improving health is a natural goal for many clubs who run programmes get people active, reduce obesity, promote healthy eating and foster good mental health.

Of course, physical activity has significant social and economic benefits. For young people it’s important the benefits of a healthy lifestyle are taught early and last year the Kinder+Sport Move and Learn project reached 40,000 children moving. This can only benefit society in the long term.

Similarly schemes such as Blackpool FC’s ‘Altogether Now’, Barnsley’s ‘Fit Reds’ and Swindon Town’s ‘Fit Fans’ can be found at clubs around the country getting adults active. Indeed, at Swindon a group of 30 fans lost a combined 40 stone in just three months transforming the lives of all those involved,  showing the effect and the power of sport at a great level.

With inclusion a core theme, community trusts offer something for everyone and it is significant that Walking Football is the fastest growing scheme at our trust. Aimed at over 50’s, the first ever National Walking Football Tournament took place gave the likes like Tony Bradshaw on Wigan Athletic’s community scheme the opportunity play sport again, meet new friends and lose four stone along the way. He said; “The camaraderie is unbelievable”.

And from one growing form of football to another, our Female Football Development programme has introduced over 30,000 new women and girls to the game in the last year.


Inclusion, education and health

Beyond sporting participation, community trusts do some fantastic work supporting disadvantaged people and provide opportunities that offer a brighter future.

Schemes such as Middlesbrough FC Foundation’s ‘Raise Your Game’ and Fulham’s ‘My Future Goals’ aims to get young people into work who are not in education or employment. To date 75% of the 300 who have been on Fulham’s scheme are now working, studying or training at a return of £6.92 for every £1 invested.

At Charlton Athletic Community Trust, Emeka’s journey took him from brushes with the criminal justice system through gang activity to receiving the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s ‘Outstanding Person of the Year Award’.

Not only can the social value of stories such as Emeka’s be overlooked, but nor can their estimated economic value – the social value of Charlton Athletic’s mentoring programme alone has been calculated to be over £2,373,800.

Whatever the age, our trust uses the power of sport to educate and develop skills for life. Starting with the very young, the network works with thousands of primary schools across the country. This year, Hull City’s Primary enrichment curriculum sessions engaged 12,000 people alone while The Football League Kids and Girls Cups involved over 20,000 young people.

Beyond school years, our trust provides valuable opportunities for development through the FUTSAL education programme, Community Football Degree and an Open University Degree in Business Management (Sport & Football).

By the same token, our trust delivers the Government’s National Citizenship Service programme through League clubs helping a young person’s transition to becoming an adult. 10,000 people between the ages of 15-17 now taking part annually, each taking the opportunity to develop as individuals and make a real difference to their community.

So be it on the pitch or off it, there is no doubt that football – and sport in general – makes society a richer place. Be it a united community, an upskilled workforce or quite simply a happier population, the tangible benefits of sport are there for all to see.

Players Back NCS

Football Players across the country will be backing the National Citizen Service (NCS) programme during the NCS Match Day Takeover.

Over the next two weekends football clubs and players will support the NCS Match Day Takeover which will celebrate NCS and the voluntary work done in the local community by young people on the programme.Picture2

Each Football Club’s Community Trusts are part of a national movement of NCS which has had huge impacts on young people and local communities. To date, over 1.9 million hours of social action has taken place across the country, the equivalent to building 74 Olympic Stadiums and 1 Great Wall of China.

Players will have an integral part on the day, firstly by warming up in NCS t-shirts. They will also meet past graduates of NCS to congratulate them on the impact they have had in their community .

NCS Graduates will be on hand throughout the day to increase the interest of younger fans and talk to them about their NCS experience. The Graduates involved are part of a network of 200,000 young people that have participated in the programme.

Using the Power of football, The Football League Trust are placed in a unique position to publicise the amazing work that our NCS graduates are doing during the programme and after.

If you are attending one of the below games please tell us on the day using #NCSMatchDay to @NCSFLT.

Paul Jubb: BBC Sports Personality Unsung Hero

Bradford Disability Football Club’s Paul Jubb says it’s an amazing feeling for the club to receive recognition, with the head coach collecting the BBC Sport Unsung Hero award for Yorkshire.
Jubb started the team, which is a partner of Bradford City Community Foundation, in 2001 with only 10 players, but he now works with 150 members of varying ages and disabilities.

He was nominated for the award by Steve Parr, a volunteer and father of one of the players, and Jubb says it was an ‘amazing feeling’.

WATCH: BBC Sport – Football coach wins Yorkshire award

“I went to the live show at the BBC [Look North Yorkshire] as they told me I was one of four nominees, but I’d actually won it,” he told

“It’s more about recognition for the the disability club than myself. I like to raise the profile; with the hope of getting more sponsors, volunteers and players. But obviously it’s nice to be recognised for what you do.

“The best thing about the programme we run is that the players get to build their self-confidence, make friends, and they all love being involved with Bradford City – it’s their lives, just like it is mine.

“Football is a great way of socialising and being part of a group with a sense of identity. We just completed a register and we’ve now got 150 members.

“We’re looking to perhaps increase our facilities and put on some extra sessions in the evenings and at the weekends. We never turn anybody away, whatever their disability or age, and want to keep growing.”

Now in its 13th year, the BBC Sport Get Inspired Unsung Hero award celebrates people from around the UK who volunteer their time and effort in encouraging the talents of others, and whose work enables local clubs and groups to thrive and flourish.

BDFCA winner was chosen in each of the BBC’s 15 nations and English regions, with those men and women joining sporting icons at the 2015 BBC Sports Personality of the Year event in Belfast on Sunday, where an overall winner will be revealed.

Ian Ormondroyd, Bradford City Community Foundation manager, reserved praise for head coach Jubb and believes Bradford City are proud of their disability club.

He said: “The players come to the club and feel welcomed, and are able to enjoy themselves, being part of a group that’s very inclusive and very friendly. All the parents get on and the atmosphere is brilliant.

“They play in a disability league but it’s more than just football as they go away on trips all the time. In all, they get to do all the things a normal footballer would – probably more, in fact!

“The players get to go on the pitch at half-time at Valley Parade two or three times a year, and the fans like that.

“Instead of going to get a pie or a pint, supporters tend to stay out and watch the disability club on the pitch, cheering them on. That’s very encouraging for the players – they have a great time.

“It would be great for Paul to win the overall award, but it’s not the be-all and end-all. It’s not about winning – the fact he has been nominated and the club has been recognised is fantastic.”


New National Futsal Competition Launched by Ferrero and the Football League Trust

Exciting national schools Futsal competition launches this month

The Kinder + Sport Futsal Cup, part of Ferrero’s global Kinder + Sport project, is a new schools competition for Under 16 Boys and Girls run by the Football League Trust. Local competitions, organised by Football League Clubs throughout England and Wales, will kick off this month seeing thousands of Year 10 and 11 students battle it out to represent their local club at area and then regional finals.

pa-23068452-4x3549-2633741_478x359The aim of Ferrero’s global Kinder + Sport project is to increase levels of physical activity among young generations around the world. The Kinder + Sport Futsal Cup builds on the success of last year’s Kinder + Sport Kids Cup for under 11s and Kinder + Sport Girls Cup for under 13s, also delivered by Ferrero and the Football League Trust.

Mike Evans, Director of Operations with the Football League Trust comments: “Last year, by working with Ferrero, we increased participation in the Football League’s Kids and Girls Cup by over 20% with over 20,000 children taking part. This year the aim is to use the same model and momentum to deliver the Kinder + Sport Futsal Cup and increase sports participation among 15-16 year olds, which is an age where we often see participation levels dropping off.”

A Ferrero spokesperson said: “At Ferrero, we believe that active children are more likely to grow into active adults, and so we are passionate about inspiring future generations to embrace physical exercise, and gain a sense of joy from living an active life. The success of last year’s Kinder + Sport Kids Cup and Kinder + Sport Girls Cup has inspired us to extend our programme to a much wider age group. By targeting 15-16 year olds, we want to encourage adolescents to utilise what they have learnt in order to lead a more active lifestyle right the way through to adulthood. The programme will reach approximately 15,000 young people.”

Futsal, the world’s fastest growing indoor sport, showcases close ball skills, increased touches, quick decision making, creativity and tactical nous. Some of the world’s leading football stars, such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, honed their ball skills with futsal. The free flowing game has witnessed significant growth throughout England and Wales over recent years, as a sport in its own right, and as a fundamental part of football development.

Kinder + Sport and the Football League Trust have been key players in the world of futsal over recent years, creating memories of a lifetime for young people. Kinder + Sport sponsored the 2014 ISF Futsal World Championships in Sardinia, and The Football League Trust spearheaded Sky Sports’ Soccer AM Futsal Cup over the last two seasons.
The partnership between Ferrero and the Football League Trust has also seen football clubs throughout the UK delivering the + Sport Move and Learn Project. The programme is designed to get children active, promote nutritional education and build awareness of the importance of a balanced diet and active lifestyle. Clubs have been teaming up with primary schools in their area to deliver the project to 9-10 year olds, with each session combining 45 minutes of classroom based learning and 45 minutes of physical activity over a 6 week period.

The project reached more than 21,000 children in 2014/15 and aims to reach 31,600 children across the UK and Ireland this year. To support the programme, club players act as ambassadors and participating schools have the chance to meet players and be involved in match day activities such as half time penalty shoot outs.

About Kinder + Sport

Kinder + Sport is a responsible global project developed by Ferrero Group aimed at supporting physical activity among young generations.

As one of the Company’s core CSR pillars, the programme is designed to promote active lifestyles by encouraging dynamic play and sports among children and their families and stimulating them to make physical activity a regular part of their lives.
Present in the UK since 1966, Ferrero is a leading family-owned global company. Ferrero’s brand portfolio includes: nutella; 400g is the UK’s No.1 selling spread SKU[1]; Ferrero Rocher, the UK’s no.2 classic boxed chocolate brand[2]; tic tac, the no.5 pocket confectionery brand [3]; Kinder Surprise, the no.3 kids confectionery[4] brand; and Kinder Bueno, a top 10 countline brand[5]. These unique and iconic brands are well-loved throughout the UK, and the success of these brands is based on quality products which are carefully crafted and supported with heavyweight investment, that not only deliver great tastes for customers, but also deliver great profits for retailers.
Ferrero UK is a dynamic, progressive company, fusing modern, innovative approaches with its rich confectionery heritage. Its leading position in confectionery markets in mainland Europe underpins the commitment to succeed in the competitive UK market.

Bradford Coach Wins BBC Sport’s Unsung Hero

A coach whose work has enabled hundreds of children and adults with disabilities to play football has been recognised by the BBC for his work.

Paul Jubb from the Bradford Disability Football Club has collected BBC Sport’s Unsung Hero award for the Yorkshire region for his work as head coach of the team which is a partner of Bradford City FC Community Foundation.

Paul started the team in 2001 with just 10 players and now works with over 130 boys, girls, men and women ranging from six to 55 years old. The club has over 10 teams which are often given the opportunity at Valley Parade before Bradford City’s home games.

Steve Parr, a volunteer and father of one of the players, nominated Paul.
He said: “Paul is one of the most inspirational guys I’ve ever met. Having a son, Martin, with learning difficulties, I know how difficult it is. Martin spends a lot of time on his own, with very little friends and this has given him a new lease of life.”

Paul will join other winner from around the country at the BBC’s prestigious Sport Personality of the Year Award on December 20th at Belfast when the national winner will be announced.

You can find about more about Paul’s Work on the BBC Video 

#IWill Football Clubs Support Youth Social Action

Football League Clubs across the country, through their community trusts are sharing their pledge of support to #iwill, the national campaign promoting youth social action.ncs-pic

This week the Community Trusts will be celebrating #iwill week, marking the 2nd anniversary of the #iwill campaign for youth social action and is calling on other organisations to join them. Through the Football League Trust the clubs have pledged to support this growing movement that aims to make involvement in social action part of life for more 10-20 year-olds around the UK. Youth social action is defined as ‘young people taking practical action in the service of others to create positive change’ and includes activities such as campaigning, fundraising and volunteering.

Football clubs have been very successful at engaging young people. For example around 40 Clubs deliver the Government’s National Citizen Service (NCS) which helps a young person’s transition to becoming adult by building confidence, teaching crucial life skills and getting then involved in projects that make a difference to their community. This year over 8,000 15-17 year olds, on NCS with Football League Clubs, have taken part in over 200,000 hours of social action projects to improve their communities.

2015 Cabinet Office research produced compelling evidence that young people who take part in social action develop key character and employability skills. It follows on from this that involvement creates a double-benefit, strengthening communities and enhancing the skills of young participants.

Charlotte Hill, CEO of the charity running the #iwill campaign says: “We are delighted that The Football Clubs have pledged to support our work, and is sharing their progress during #iwill week to inspire others to take part also. If we are to make involvement in social action the norm for 10-20 year-olds we need partners to commit to tangible actions just as they are doing. The involvement of the Football League Trust will undoubtedly help us progress towards our goal.’

Working with business, education and voluntary sector partners, the campaign aims to ensure that all young people can access social action opportunities, whatever their background. The #iwill goal is to raise by 50% the number of 10-20 year-olds taking part in social action by 2020, which will mean an additional 1.5 million young people will be active in their communities.


DWP and Fulham teaming up to tackle unemployment

Football clubs should team up with the Government and help their unemployed fans find work, Employment Minister Priti Patel said today.

The Minister issued the challenge during a visit to Fulham Football Club today, to see how their vital community outreach work is helping to score the Government’s goal of getting hard-to-reach jobseekers into employment.
Fulham Football Club Foundation and the DWP are working together with funding and support from the Premier League to help the long-term unemployed and 16-25 year olds not in education, employment or training  (NEETS) build their employability skills and find permanent jobs

.Fulham Visit
The event, which was organised by the Football League Trust and hosted by Fulham at its ground, Craven Cottage, was designed to share best practice with other clubs and organisations, including Nottingham Forest, Blackburn Rovers and Charlton Athletic.

Employment Minister Priti Patel said:
“Employment is at a record high, unemployment is at a seven-year low and wages are continuing to grow, but we are not stopping there.

“Football clubs are much-loved institutions in the heart of their communities and are ideally placed to help their local fans find lasting jobs.” 

“Our Jobcentres are teaming up with organisations like Fulham Football Club Foundation across the country to help people overcome barriers and move closer to employment.

“Now, I want to challenge more clubs to follow Fulham’s lead. That’s why I am supporting the Football League Trust’s push to get more clubs to develop traineeship programmes, and help us get more people into work.”The DWP is contributing £30,000 to help Fulham Football Club Foundation continue its outreach work helping people into work.

The cash, which came from the DWP’s Flexible Support Fund, is part-funding the Foundation’s Fulham Work Hub. This scheme is building on the work of My Future Goal, which for three years concentrated on helping NEETS aged 16 to 25 into work.

Fulham Work Hub, which kick-started in January, is enhancing that offer by helping older workers, lone parents and disabled jobseekers – as well as young people – the necessary skills they need to find work, after they’ve been referred by the Jobcentre Plus.

Fulham Football Club Foundation Chief Executive, Steven Day, said:
“Fulham Football Club Foundation is delighted to welcome the Employment Minister and guests from a number of football clubs to Craven Cottage today, to showcase the success of our Employability programme.
“We were generously supported by Barclays for our three-year programme which ended in January and provided exceptional results. Our new Fulham Work Hub programme is supported by the Premier League and funds from the DWP will allow us to continue to work with local unemployed young people further. This will enable us to assist participants in developing their employability skills for opportunities in education, employment or training in the future.”

The Football League Trust wants to recruit other clubs to follow Fulham’s example in supporting young people in jobs. It is about to launch a 12-week traineeship programme to help jobseekers build their employability skills in a sports’ setting with the aim of helping them into employment, an apprenticeship or fulltime education. This is being piloted in 12 clubs across England, with the aim of rolling it out to 40 clubs in 2016.  Around 1,000 young people are expected to make the step into the world of work as a result of this initiative who might otherwise have fallen into the NEET category.

Football League Trust Director of Operations, Mike Evans said:
“Our network of 72 football community trusts has a strong record in delivering education and employment initiatives over many years.  The unique ability of football clubs to engage young people is a huge factor in this, but it requires professional organisations such as Fulham Football Club Foundation to inspire people to fulfil their potential. We are delighted the Minister has been able to join us today to see the fantastic work that Fulham are doing to tackle unemployment and help us to roll employment programmes out throughout The Football League Trust network.”