If you have been inspired by the Lionesses performance in the World Cup, it’s time get out there and get involved in grassroots football
England’s run to the final of the Women's World Cup has captured the imagination of the nation, building on the already impressive legacy of their Euros win and inspiring even more people get involved in the game, both on and off the pitch.
This is fantastic, not only because grassroots is where all future England stars begin their football journey, but because whether you want to play, coach, referee or volunteer, being part of football has massive benefits for both you and your community.
We all know that getting outside and being physically active is good for us and our children, but there’s so much more to it than that. So while big tournaments are what grab the attention, some of the biggest impacts happen at local parks, unseen by TV cameras.
Studies show that football not only improves the physical and mental health of participants, but that it also impacts other areas of their lives too, such as increasing confidence, building trust and improving educational outcomes, which benefit us all.
The Value of Grassroots Football to Society
A recent study showed that across the country grassroots football contributes to healthcare savings of £1.6bn through disease reduction, including £525m direct savings to the NHS:
• 213,000 reduction in cases of childhood obesity
• 66,000 reduction in cases of depression and anxiety in children
• 203,000 reduction in physical and mental health disorders in adults
In addition it also provides social value of £780m through education improvement and crime reduction, which lead to better life chances for young people:
• Regular sport participation is associated with improved educational performance
• Football provides children with opportunities to build relationships and trust others
• Increased leadership, confidence and resilience improves future earnings potential
• Childhood football participation is linked to the reduction of over 1,200 juvenile crimes
This is on top of £7.7bn in direct economic value. You can find out more in this report on the Social and Economic value of Grassroots Football in England.
Get Involved and Support Your Community
If you want to have a positive impact in your local area then now’s the time to get out there and get involved. There are so many ways you can be part of grassroots football.
From taking your daughter to get their first taste of playing the game at a Weetabix Wildcats session, signing up for a coaching course so you can help inspire the next generation, volunteering behind the scenes at a local club, or taking the first steps to becoming a referee, there is literally something for everyone.
Whether or not your efforts help uncover the next Lucy Bronze or Alessia Russo it really doesn’t matter, because you will still have had a significant impact on the lives of young people, just by helping give them the opportunity to play.
And for all those already involved in grassroots football we salute you. England’s victories are your victories because in some small way we all help make them happen. Keep doing what you are doing and together we can inspire the nation.
Find out more about opportunities to get involved in the game and see how football is connected from grassroots to the national team on the England Football website.