The Football Association has partnered with British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) and English Colleges FA (ECFA) to support the development of grassroots football across England through the introduction of ‘FA College & University Grassroots Hubs’.
The FA Grassroots Hub model calls on Further and Higher Education establishments to forge partnerships with the local football community by offering access to their playing facilities - creating greater opportunities to play and boost participation numbers. The project receives investment from Sport England’s via the ‘Towards an Active Nation Strategy’, which supports National Governing Bodies in the implementation of sports participation projects.
There are currently 167 College and University Grassroots Hubs and The FA aims to engage 250k participants through the programme by March 2021.
Once accepted onto the programme Colleges and Universities are tasked with writing a football development plan and demonstrating how they intend to support the following programme aims:
- Retain & grow male and female, adult and youth participation.
- Develop inclusive playing pathways for football & futsal that offers a wide variety of flexible inclusive playing opportunities for the local community.
- Embedded student leadership programmes at every College & University hub, which generates more & better coaches, referees and volunteers to service the grassroots game.
- Open up facilities to support grassroots football clubs to gain access to sustainable use of new/existing sports facilities.