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*).
Charlton provide coaching courses in Kent during every half term for
£10 (13 ). There are 25 football clubs in Maidstone playing 11 a-side
football in the junior section. Maidstone united provides coaching
sessions for the local teams and schools (10* ) and has an under 14’s
squad to under18’s squad. Gillingham also provide many soccer coaching
courses around Kent (14), including courses held at schools (15). Most
clubs in Kent are self-supportive and raise funds by themselves. (16)
Any body over 14 can train to become a referee (17) 1.25 million
pounds will be invested into primary schools to improve sports
facilities in Kent with 3 projects supporting this, invested by Sport
England and the National lottery.(23)
There is a men's physically handicapped football team in Ashford. I
also spoke with Karen Selby of EFDS who told me they were planning to
put money into Kent in the nearby future (3). I then contacted the
person responsible for disabled football in Kent (Mike Bishop) and he
told me there are currently 5 pan-disability teams in Kent with the
nearest being Larkfield DFC(24)(15*). McDonalds funded the Kent FA’s
first level 1 disabled football course recently (11*) A disabled and
special needs club will be held Tuesday evenings at Mote Park (16).
There is also a “more to discover disability day” held at Mote Park.
There is one professional football team in Kent and that is
Gillingham(13*) who frequently send scouts to local Saturday and
Sunday teams for talent. (6*) There are many school teams which
compete against one another that people take part in. These matches
are organised by the Kent school...