The Minister for Sport and Equalities has welcomed news from the Football Foundation which highlights a 12.4% spike in the number of people playing sport at Football Foundation-funded sites.
The Foundation’s annual 'Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Report' highlights the stages and processes undertaken to ensure the money received from our funding partners – The FA, the Premier League and Government, via Sport England – is performing against its original aims and objectives.
The latest results also demonstrate how the Foundation is meeting the Government’s aim of creating a lasting legacy from the Olympics:
- 9% growth in the number of people who played football at Foundation-funded sites
- 12.4% growth in the number of people who played multi-sport at Foundation-funded sites
- 741,107 people played sport at Foundation-funded sites
- 573,097 people played football at Foundation-funded sites
- 23,586 qualifications gained at Foundation-funded sites
- 18,207 new players, across 1,471 new teams, were created thanks to the Foundation-funded Grow the Game (GtG) Scheme
- 3,172 courses were completed by volunteers as a result of GtG funding.
The Foundation’s focus on a "through life" approach to M&E ensures that each facility it invests in reaches its full potential. Simply, the Foundation does not provide a grant and presume that the required outputs will be delivered.
Instead, robust performance management systems enable the Foundation to ensure that any investment is properly targeted to achieve the best possible participation and other outcomes. Indeed 90.6% of Foundation-funded projects are meeting or exceeding development expectations.
The Minister for Sport and Equalities, Helen Grant MP, said: "The Foundation’s Monitoring & Evaluation Report shows just how much can be achieved with a strong public-private partnership investment.
"Our work with the football family is developing high quality sports facilities for local people to enjoy. The 12% increase in sports participation at Football Foundation facilities underlines how modern, third-generation pitches in the right locations can help get people more active.
"I was delighted to announce a new package of funding in October – in the form of the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund – worth £102m over the next three years. This will help continue to transform local sports facilities and help improve people’s lives for the better."
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, added: "The data provided in the Football Foundation Monitoring and Evaluation Report once again demonstrates the significant impact that funding provided by the Premier League, The FA and the Government (via Sport England) is having on the grassroots of our national game.
"The high-quality facilities that we are providing not only helps to increase the numbers of people who play football purely for the love of doing so, and as a means of helping them to stay fit and healthy, but will also improve the quality of coaching sessions and thereby raise standards and skill levels.
"This can only help to improve the quality of players available for the England national team in years to come."
Funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, via Sport England, since the Foundation was launched in 2000 it has awarded around 12,025 grants worth more than £490m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £651m – over £1bn of investment into the grassroots game.