Efforts to encourage more youngsters to become involved in football in Guernsey have been so successful that sponsor Ravenscroft has extended its support for a further three years.
Football for Everyone, which was a partnership between senior representatives from football and Ravenscroft, launched in 2016 and aimed to enable and encourage participation of both boys and girls of all abilities.
“Football for Everyone was designed to deliver three objectives – attract more girls to the Player Development Centre, reduce the number of teenage boys leaving the sport during their teenage years and increase the number of players who could give something back off the field. It was ambitious but the commitment from Ravenscroft gave us the financial support we needed to implement our plans,” said CEO of Guernsey Football Association Gary Roberts.
“The success of Football for Everyone can’t be disputed. The number of girls who are committed members of the Girls Player Development Centre has doubled with even more starting this season, the Ravenscroft Youth Leagues had 700 players registered for the 2018/19 season and the introduction of the under 15 league means there is now a single year age group from under 13 through to under 16 and finally 132 young people have completed the Junior Football Leaders programme with many giving back to the sport by coaching younger age groups.”
Mr Roberts said he was delighted that Ravenscroft had committed to supporting Football for Everyone for another three years.
“The continued sponsorship from Ravenscroft means we can build on the success of the last three years and use what we have learnt to continue the momentum. Football in Guernsey has an exciting few years ahead of it with the development of the new facilities at Victoria Avenue. Having a sustainable and achievable plan for the future of the sport has been a huge jigsaw but the pieces have come together. Football for Everyone is crucial to the future of the sport.”
Mark Bousfield, group managing director of Ravenscroft, said the company was increasingly focusing its community support on grass roots sporting initiatives.
“We want to do what we can to encourage more and more children and young people to get involved with sport. There are so many benefits, both physically and mentally, and as a large Channel Islands’ based company, we want our support to make a difference to the communities within which we operate,” he said.
“The results of Football for Everyone speak for themselves and show what can be achieved from a focused public private partnership. We are confident that the next three years will continue to deliver a bright and successful future for football in Guernsey.”