Lidl has extended its grassroots football initiative with the English Football Association with a new program that will provide over a million children throughout England with professional coaching opportunities.
The programme was unveiled at a launch event prior to England’s friendly match with Germany that was fronted by Lidl ambassadors and former England internationals Sir Trevor Brooking and Matt Le Tissier
The grassroots community coaching campaign is being promoted through an online film featuring the two former star players putting school children through their coaching paces at Wembley.
The scheme revolves around a series of informal, fun and interactive football coaching opportunities to provide kids with professional coaching ahead of Euro 2016.
These informal coaching events aim to drive registrations for the local Lidl FA Skills Programme (which itself aims to provide a minimum of 1.2 million opportunities for children aged 5-11 to take part and receive professional coaching through the FA).
‘We’ve been running the FA skills program for over 10 years and that’s given 8 million players experience of football starting at 5 going on through to 11,’ said FA’s chief executive Martin Glenn at the launch event.
‘The Lidl program allows us to take it on another level. The sponsorship we get allows us to continue this program, take it to more schools and get the new generation coming through. There’s a baby boom on right now in Great Britain so we can take advantage of that and get young people to have a positive experience of football and play it all their life.’
‘We looked at how we could develop the game and for me any skill that I had was put in place in my primary school years which is 5 to 11,’ added Brooking.
‘I always felt that we’ve gone away from that. A lot of schools didn’t have dedicated staff, particularly at that age group, and if they didn’t get that quality introduction by the time they left primary school at 11 they didn’t have a good skill base and weren’t going to play the game of football we wanted them to going forward.’
The scheme celebrates a new partnership between Lidl and The FA to grow the grassroots game by which was announced late last year.
Their partnership aims to boost football participation across the country by providing a platform to communicate the benefits of football to mums and their children.
The English scheme matches a mid March’s partnership between Lidl and the Scottish FA to also invest in a school children focused grassroots football coaching programme and a parallel three year partnership which will see Lidl invest in the Scottish FA’s Skills Centres to provide kit, equipment, coaching resources and marketing support.
By partnering with the SFA, Lidl hopes to provide a platform to communicate the benefits of football to more children and their families, creating lasting and positive change and the initiatives run under the super market outfit’s umbrella commitment to supporting families to enjoy a balanced lifestyle.
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