Teaming up with Tesco, The Sun is launching a landmark fund to protect kids football clubs hit hard by cost-of-living crisis
Earlier this year, the Sun launched the Footie for All campaign to shine a light on how financial struggles were forcing kids to give up football. Playing weekend football with a local team has been a rite of passage for kids for generations, but a Sun investigation in March revealed the cost of living crisis was forcing many young children to drop out of sports clubs as families struggle to make ends meet.
In the wake of the crisis and the investigation, The Sun launched Footie For All — backed by some of England’s top players including Harry Maguire and Phil Foden — to highlight the importance of grassroots sports clubs. Football clubs across the country told The Sun how the economic crisis is forcing kids out of training and weekend matches, even though the clubs are doing all they can to give their players a chance.
The Sun is urging grassroots clubs to apply for a £1,000 Footie for All grants to help ease the funding crisis. The cash can be used in any way that encourages more children to take part or to improve access for children. The fund, in association with Tesco, will give out £150,000 worth of grants in all.
Victoria Newton, editor of The Sun says: “I am delighted to partner with Tesco Stronger Starts to launch this special Footie for All Fund today. I would urge grassroots football clubs serving under 18s all over the country to apply for one of our grants.
“Any football star will tell you grassroots football is not only the lifeblood of our national game but often the beating heart of our communities. The health and social benefits of kids playing sport are beyond measure.
“We launched our Footie for All campaign after a football coach contacted me to tell how some children were being forced off the pitch by the cost of living crisis.
“Families struggling to make-ends meet couldn’t afford subs to play along with other costs like kit and transport.
“After publishing our investigation we were flooded with stories from small clubs all over the country hit by rising costs. It is great to be able to offer them practical help.”
Christine Heffernan, Tesco Group communications director comments: “The Tesco Stronger Starts grant programme enables Tesco to provide £6 million of funding to get more children and their families access to healthy and nutritious food and physical activities through breakfast clubs, school after school clubs and sports clubs.
“We thought The Footie for All programme would be a great extension, to help kids to thrive.”
Grants will be awarded by The Sun with charity Groundwork, which runs Tesco’s grant giving programmes on a rolling basis. Not-for-profit groups who serve kids up to the age of 18 can apply though a simple process here.