Local And National Provision For Football
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Local And National Provision For Football The game of Football was first organised in England in the 1800s and is now the most popular sport around the world. The World Cup is held every four years and is the most-watched sports event today. Around 70 thousand boys play football, for either a school or club team, at each age level between the age ranges of Under 11 to Under 16, and over 500 thousand play between the ages of nine to 16. Only 0.6% of those five hundred thousand young footballers register in football academies, and a further 1.2% in centres of excellence. I am one of many who play football and I am going to find out what the associations are doing for grassroots locally and nationally. Local Grass Root Provision There are many football pitches in Maidstone (2*) however it was slightly disappointing that I could not find any floodlit pitches. There are also only 3 astro turfs in South park, Southward and Sutton Vallence (3*). I could also find many reduced football pitches for youngsters under 11.(4*) The KCC has made a deal with Charlton Athletic to bring their award winning football schemes into Kent (5*).
There are 43 County Football Associations. These organise local competitions and leagues, registering players to clubs and organising match officials and rules. They are all heavily involved with the FA. In the County Football Association it is the responsibility of the Technical director to oversee the development of football from 'grass roots' to National level. They are guided through the centres of excellence, aimed specifically at training young footballers into stars. Many of the big clubs have their own youth training facilities, for example Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool all have established youth centres. £3.5 million has been invested into Sportsmatch by Sport England to support 370-400 grass-roots programmes in England.(9),(10) The F.A. Charter programme ensures the best opportunities are given for the coaching and education received by young players. The F.A. run a variety of competitions for clubs at levels of the game from the F.A. challenge cup to trophies for Sunday league sides. The F.A. Sunday cup is a competition for clubs playing in Sunday leagues across the country. More than 100 teams attend and the final is held at a league ground. The F.A. County youth cup is a competition for representative youth sides of County football Associations.
Football is now officially the biggest women's and girls sport in England. Research has shown that girls who want to play sport want to play football but just because you didn't play when you were young doesn't mean you can't play now. There are over 800 women's teams playing 11a-side competitive football every week throughout the August-May season. Critical Analysis Due to the limited time I had I was unable to fully investigate local and national grassroots, with more time I would have been able to gather more resources from other libraries etc. As I had limited time and money I was unable to meet the people I wanted information from, I would have otherwise gone abroad and compared English grassroots football with another country and I would have visited Gillingham football club to talk to each player individually from there and visit members of the FA. As a result of this I had to completely rely on my e-mails to speak to them and many of which were unanswered. I would have also liked to have printed questionnaires to hand out to people in my school and collect their opinions and knowledge as well as putting them through all the houses in Maidstone. However I feel that I have researched National Provision well due to the amount of different information I found.
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