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By Malcolm Boyes

FA Grow the Game grant of £1,500, awarded so a new U11 girls side can be established. An FA Retain the Game grant of £750 was also awarded.

A spokesperson for the FA commented:
"Funding from The FA’s Retain the Game scheme could help to secure the long-term future of Crowborough Athletic."
The grant, which has been awarded to help aid the retention of adult male teams within grassroots football, will enable Crowborough Athletic to sustain their Senior and Junior over the coming years.
Retain the Game is a programme funded by The FA and delivered by the Football Foundation. It awards grants of £750 to existing grassroots football clubs to boost their financial sustainability and allow them to continue offering playing opportunities in organised football.
Funding has been targeted at clubs that operate with two or more male teams aged under-17 and above, and either currently hold The FA’s Adult Charter Standard Award or commit to attaining the award within the next footballing season.
The strategy aims to encourage more clubs to strive for Adult Charter Standard, with research from The FA demonstrating increased levels of sustainability and player recruitment for teams with this award.

Paul Simpson, England U19 Head Coach, commented:
“It’s great to see The FA and the Football Foundation supporting participation in the adult male game at the community level.
“Affordability has often been identified as a key barrier, so this grant will ease the financial burden placed on clubs and allow them to concentrate on providing access to competitive football.
“It is very pleasing to see Crowborough Athletic taking advantage of this pilot scheme and ensuring that they look forward to a bright future, providing regular opportunities for local people to enjoy the benefits of playing our national game.”

Money invested as part of Retain the Game will go towards covering core costs - including matchday and training facility hire - first aid training and new Nike kit and equipment through a bespoke voucher.
The new scheme has further bolstered The FA’s efforts to increase participation in grassroots football. Earlier this year, they also awarded grants of £1,500 as part of their Grow the Game programme, with particular emphasis placed on boosting the number of female and disabled grassroots football teams.

Eric Gillett, who applied for the grants, commented:
"There are many costs involved with maintaining open aged football such as pitch and facility maintenance, utilities, etc. Our club relies on its supporters and sponsors but funding remains a challenge.
"It's great that the FA are recognising the challenges faced by clubs such as ours which are non-commercialised, run entirely by volunteers and without big backers. The grant will help us to meet the challenge of retaining open aged football for the future."

For more information contact:
Eric Gillett, First Team and U18 Secretary, via his email address,

About Retain the Game
Retain the Game is delivered by the Football Foundation, the nation’s largest sports charity. Retain the Game is inclusive of players from different ethnic backgrounds, faiths and sexual orientations.
The push to reverse the decline in adult male league football follows the recent Grow the Game funding window for 2018, which made £1.5 million available for grassroots clubs looking to create new women and girls or disability football teams.

About the Football Foundation
As well as delivering Grow the Game, the Football Foundation delivers the Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund on behalf of the Premier League, The FA and the Government, through Sport England. Since 2000, the Foundation has supported over 17,000 grassroots projects worth more than £1.4bn.

Updated 09:13 - 5 Nov 2018 by Malcolm Boyes

Where next?

BUILDBASE FA VASE DRAW. The 3rd round draw has been made and it's thrown up some interesting ties.
GAME ON TONIGHT - CROW U18 V HOLMESDALE U18. Cherry Red Records Combined Counties League, Tony Ford U18 Division South at the Community Stadium. Kick-off: 7:30pm.


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