On the rise – Wick Football Club Bristol bolstered by Retain the Game funding
England Under-19s Head Coach, Paul Simpson, believes funding from The FA’s Retain the Game scheme could help to secure the long-term future of Wick FC.
The grant, which has been awarded to help aid the retention of adult male teams within grassroots football, will enable Wick Football Club to sustain their four senior teams over the coming years.
Retain the Game is a programme funded by The FA and delivered by the Football Foundation. It awards grants of £750 to existing grassroots football clubs to boost their financial sustainability and allow them to continue offering playing opportunities in organised football.
Funding has been targeted at clubs that operate with two or more male teams aged under-17 and above, and either currently hold The FA’s Adult Charter Standard Award or commit to attaining the award within the next footballing season.
The strategy aims to encourage more clubs to strive for Adult Charter Standard, with research from The FA demonstrating increased levels of sustainability and player recruitment for teams with this award.
Paul Simpson, England Under-19s Head Coach, said: “It’s great to see The FA and the Football Foundation supporting participation in the adult male game at the community level.
“Affordability has often been identified as a key barrier, so this grant will ease the financial burden placed on clubs and allow them to concentrate on providing access to competitive football.
“It is very pleasing to see Wick FC taking advantage of this pilot scheme and ensuring that they look forward to a bright future, providing regular opportunities for local people to enjoy the benefits of playing our national game.”
Money invested as part of Retain the Game will go towards covering core costs - including matchday and training facility hire - first aid training and new Nike kit and equipment through a bespoke voucher.
The new scheme has further bolstered The FA’s efforts to increase participation in grassroots football. Earlier this year, they also awarded grants of £1,500 as part of their Grow the Game programme, with particular emphasis placed on boosting the number of female and disabled grassroots football teams.
Dave Beer, Wick FC Vice Chairman, said: “This is fantastic news and will help us secure the long-term future of our club. We want to encourage all our existing players and any new players to come along to training and this grant will certainly help allow us to provide safe and enjoyable sessions during the winter months. Thanks so much to the Football Foundation for their kind donation.”