Football Foundation launches £300,000 fund to help clubs get more disabled players back playing following the COVID-19 pandemic
Funded by The FA and Sport England the Football Foundation has launched the Return to Disability Football Fund. This new fund will provide grants of up to £1,000 to support disabled people getting back to playing football following the pandemic.
Disabled people and individuals with long-term health conditions have been more adversely affected by COVID-19 than the wider population. This has directly impacted on disability football participation rates. The new fund has been launched to help tackle this challenge, and will be assessed on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Return to Disability Football Fund, an FA and Sport England initiative drawing on National Lottery funding, will target £300,000 through the Football Foundation at clubs and organisations that had an FA affiliated disability team during the 2019/20 or 2020/21 seasons to help them restart or deliver new activity.
Successful applicants will be able to use the grants to:
- Fund changes required to adhere to published Government and FA guidance;
- Buy additional sports equipment to minimise sharing while delivering activities;
- Provide safety and sanitation to keep equipment clean;
- Cover staffing costs associated with helping restart or provide new activity;
- Afford extra facility hire costs to create more space for players and volunteers;
- Pay for coach education courses e.g. qualifying coaches for new teams;
- Train club volunteers to ensure they meet current guidelines;
- Support communication to promote and reinforce safety protocols
For more information on eligibility, what the money can be used for and how to apply, visit the Football Foundation website by following the link below.
RETURN TO DISABILITY FOOTBALL FUND
If you need further help or advice in relation to any potential application or indeed any aspect of creating opportunities for disability football in Hertfordshire then get in touch with one of our Football Development Officers.
The Return to Disability Football fund is the latest in a series of additional funding measures launched by The Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation to help grassroots football deal with the impacts of COVID-19.
In March this year, it launched the Return to Football Fund that provided £2.1m to support clubs return to football or activities aimed at bringing new players to the game. It also set up a Grass Pitch Maintenance Fund and Small Grants Scheme to help clubs pay for all of the essential kit and facilities they needed to start playing again.
Football Foundation CEO Robert Sullivan commented:
“We know disabled people are keen to get playing again, but we also recognise they have different needs and concerns compared to the wider population. It’s really important we help them return confidently to playing football. It’s one of the best sports for them to get involved in because it offers a range of benefits across physical health, mental wellbeing and social connections. We’re delighted that our Partners are investing in this fund to ensure disabled football gets going again and grows within our communities.”
For more information about all of the funding available to grassroots football clubs, visit the Football Foundation website.