AFC Wimbledon Ladies & Girls are celebrating after being awarded a £6,000 Grow the Game grant, which they will receive over a 3-year period, something that has attracted praise from England Manager Gareth Southgate.
The grant, which will provide a boost to grassroots football in Wimbledon, has paved the way for AFC Wimbledon Ladies & Girls to add a further three girls teams for the 2017-2018 season; one team at under 10’s and two teams at under 11’s, allowing more girls to enjoy playing football at a young age.
England Men’s Senior Manager and Football Foundation Ambassador, Gareth Southgate, said: “I am so pleased that AFC Wimbledon Ladies & Girls has secured this Grow the Game grant. The club has worked very hard with the London FA, Surrey FA and the Football Foundation to get more local people playing football so that they can enjoy the many physical and mental benefits that come with playing regular sport.
“Grow the Game is mainly funded by The FA and delivered by the Football Foundation. This is money that is flowing from the very top of the game down to the lowest levels, to help clubs at the grassroots to bear the cost of starting up a new team, whether it be for a new kit, pitch hire or sending volunteers on FA accredited coaching courses. Grow the Game is a £2.5m programme funded by The FA and the Football Foundation. It awards grants to grassroots football clubs that wish to create new teams, especially amongst under-represented groups.
£1,500 is available to help FA-affiliated clubs with the cost of creating a new team, which might include the cost FA coaching courses; FA league affiliation costs; referees’ fees; first aid kits; and even football kit & equipment.
Dennis Lowndes, AFC Wimbledon Ladies & Girls Chairman, said: I would like to thank the Football Foundation’s Grow the Game initiative for their recognition of AFC Wimbledon Ladies & Girl’s development over the last 10 years. This grant helps us to increase our girls section by adding a further 3 teams and brings our Club size to 13 girls teams and 3 ladies teams, showing that girls football in England is expanding at a rapid rate.
"This is another big step for our club and one I am very proud of, as it is important to continue offering football opportunities to the younger age groups.