Latest News | 12 April 2022

Lottery boost to get more people active through football

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A consortium, including Derby City Council and Derby County Community Trust, have secured a £525,000 National Lottery grant to get more people active in the city through football.

Active Through Football, a new programme from Sport England, funded by the National Lottery and delivered by the Football Foundation, is providing the Derby Active Through Football consortium the funding to increase participation in football.

The consortium went through a competitive process to secure the money, which was open to applications from communities who face some of the greatest inequalities to being physically active.

The Derby project will be based in Normanton and Arboretum, two of the most challenged areas of the city.

Communities are being given the opportunity to co-design, deliver and participate in physical activity based around football.

Consultation is ongoing with a wide range of community groups and representatives with a view to kicking off the five-year project in early summer.

Helen Britten, co-ordinator at Community Action Derby, which is part of the Derby consortium, said: “Normanton and Arboretum are areas of Derby where space is at a premium and people have little access to sport and physical activity.

“We were overwhelmed by the appetite of people to get involved. Many said this was long overdue and they are very excited to be part of it.”

According to the consortium, consultation with women in the communities has underlined a desire for activities, including female-only football sessions and walking football.

A football group for younger males has already started, with the consortium supporting the setup and registration.

Tim Hollingsworth, chief executive of Sport England, said: “There is a reason why football is followed and played by so many the world over.

“It brings people together and helps build connections in communities. It’s also the sport that is played the most in England and has a reach into places where our research shows activity levels are lower.

“Sport England is proud to be one of the funding partners helping to tackle these inequalities and to support more people from a variety of backgrounds to enjoy playing football and all the benefits that brings.”

Robert Sullivan, chief executive of the Football Foundation, said: “This grant award to Derby Active Through Football is fantastic news for the local community in Derby.

“Football is a game for everyone – regardless of their background – and it’s only right that people across all walks of life are able to play the nation’s favourite game.

“This new project will help to transform people’s lives by developing a programme of accessible activities which will improve confidence, health and wellbeing and community cohesion in Derby, unlocking the many benefits of football for the community.”

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