Kelly Simmons targets FA grassroots survey findings

Thursday 10 Dec 2015
The FA's Director of Participation and Development, Kelly Simmons
Kelly Simmons says results of The FA’s grassroots survey will help the organisation distribute funding to the areas which mean the most to football’s participants.

Almost 30,000 players, coaches and volunteers took the largest-ever survey earlier this year, giving a further insight into what matters most to those who play the national game.

FA Grassroots Survey 2015

Participants: 28,757
52% believe football is best value-for-money sport
25% would play more if there were better facilities
£260m to be invested by The FA into grassroots football
150 new 'Parklife' hubs to be set up in 30 cities County
Coaches introduced to improve and support grassroots coaching
Grassroots coaching packages to increase diversity of coaches

And Simmons, Director for Participation and Development, has revealed where she thinks The FA can invest and support the grassroots game.

"We have committed to investing £260m into grassroots over the next four years and these results highlight the areas where the money can make a real difference," she revealed.

"Addressing the problem of poor quality facilities is one of the areas where we have ear-marked significant additional investment.

"It’s a big investment in facilities and it’s really important.

"Since the Football Foundation started in 2000, there’s been nearly three-quarters of a billion pounds invested into facilities.

"There are some fantastic facilities across the country but there are still some that we need to turn around.

"We are investing in 3G pitches so children can play on high quality surfaces and that suits adults who want to play in midweek and after work."

The FA has already committed to improving facilities with the introduction of 150 new ‘Parklife’ football hubs in cities across England as well as new artificial surfaces to allow more people to play throughout the year.

Youngsters are watched on by a coach during a junior training session

Simmons believes the grassroots survey will play a part in which areas of the game The FA will invest

And with those projects already underway, Simmons believes this can only help improve things for all of those involved in grassroots football, whether that's children, teenagers, young adults or veterans.

"We are now a heartbeat away from the start of Parklife," she added. 

"We are increasing the number of grass and artificial turf pitches and will continue to support and improve the existing infrastructure.

"Children’s football is flourishing, in the last four years alone we’ve had an additional 5000  teams across the country and mini-soccer in particular is really thriving.

"There is support for parents, to find local clubs on and with the FA Skills programme to receive quality free coaching for young children.

"And we’re there to support clubs to get those costs down with grants for kit, equipment, footballs, coach education bursaries via the County FAs.

"We know that children tend to drop out at 14, 15 or 16 and we have a range of programmes in schools, colleges and further education to keep them in the game.

"And we have a whole range of options available such as walking football for older players to get involved.

See the results and findings of The FA’s grassroots football survey by clicking here.

By FA Staff