Lidl announced as new grassroots partner of English FA, The FAW and Scottish FA for next three years
Lidl and The Football Association (The FA), The Football Association Wales (FAW) and the Scottish Football Association (Scottish FA) have announced that the family supermarket will become a lead grassroots partner of all three associations until 2018.
The commitment will provide professional coaching and around 1.5 million opportunities for children to play annually, increasing participation amongst home grown talent.
In addition to becoming Lead Skills Partner of The FA, Lidl will become Official Supermarket of the England Team. It will also become Official Supplier for both the FAW and Scottish FA on selected products.
For Lidl, the opportunity to work with the three associations will enable it to invest in the grassroots of the game - in fact, as a result of the new partnership Wales will be launching their first skills programme of this kind.
Backed by the Education Select Committee and quoted in the government's Schools PE strategy, football, says Lidl, is the most accessible sport for children: "The mix of exercise, team work and health benefits is core to Lidl's values and this partnership allows us to celebrate this".
The partnership kicked off on 17th November, to tie in with England's friendly against France at Wembley Stadium.
Ryan McDonnell, Lidl UK Purchasing Director said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for Lidl and one that we are both excited and extremely proud to be a part of. We look forward to building successful partnerships with the English, Scottish and Welsh FAs in developing the sport at both national and community levels".
Martin Glenn, CEO of The FA, said: "Lidl have joined us at an exciting time as we focus our efforts on supporting the grassroots movement through better facilities and coaching. The Skills programme is a great opportunity for young people to get involved in the game, hone their talents and have fun".
Jonathan Ford, CEO of The FAW, was equally upbeat: "We are extremely excited to welcome a brand such as Lidl within our partner family. Lidl are committed to help develop the game on a local level - increasing participation of children and developing the next generation of young coaches and leaders. The Play More Football programme is the first of its kind in structure and will be a great platform for Lidl to engage with families".
Jim Fleeting, Scottish FA Director of Football Development, commented: "Grassroots football in Scotland will benefit from this exciting partnership with Lidl and we are grateful for their support. The Scottish FA's community scheme will deliver a wide range of participation initiatives, including equality, diversity and inclusion, through our network of partners.
"These areas will be enhanced greatly and we look forward to working in partnership with Lidl to achieve the collective objective of increasing football participation across Scotland".
Image credit: by Jbmg40 (Wembley Stadium) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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