England Manager Gareth Southgate congratulates AFC Walpole on their funding success

England manager Gareth Southgate has congratulated AFC Walpole on its funding success. Picture: TIM

England manager Gareth Southgate has congratulated AFC Walpole on its funding success. Picture: TIM GOODE/PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Fenland football side AFC Walpole are celebrating after being awarded a £1,500 Grow the Game grant, something that has attracted praise from England Manager Gareth Southgate.

The grant, which will provide a boost to grassroots football in Wisbech and surrounding areas, has paved the way for AFC Walpole, which will play in the North West Norfolk League with home games held at the Thomas Clarkson Academy in Wisbech, to create a new male adult (16+) team.

It will also enable team coaches to gain qualifications which otherwise they would not be able to afford.

England Men’s Senior Manager and Football Foundation ambassador, Gareth Southgate, said: “I am so pleased that AFC Walpole has secured this Grow the Game grant.

“The club has worked very hard with Norfolk FA and the Football Foundation to get more local people playing football so that they can enjoy the many physical and mental benefits that come with playing regular sport.

“Grow the Game is mainly funded by The FA and delivered by the Football Foundation. This is money that is flowing from the very top of the game down to the lowest levels, to help clubs at the grassroots to bear the cost of starting up a new team, whether it be for a new kit, pitch hire or sending volunteers on FA accredited coaching courses.”

Grow the Game is a £2.5m programme funded by The FA and the Football Foundation. It awards grants to grassroots football clubs that wish to create new teams, especially amongst under-represented groups.

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£1,500 is available to help FA-affiliated clubs with the cost of creating a new team, which might include the cost FA coaching courses; FA league affiliation costs; referees’ fees; first aid kits; and even football kit & equipment.

Jake Hopkisson (Chairman), said: This grant from the Football Foundation has allowed us to create a new club, when we had tried this before the financial side was always the problem. I would recommend anyone looking to create a new team to look at the Football Foundation to see what grants are on offer.

Last year the scheme achieved:

• 2,159 new teams.

• 8,787 female footballers.

• 23,332 male footballers.

• 5,715 new coaching qualifications.

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