London FA, Utilita Energy, and Grassroots Football have once again teamed up for a second year to help our leagues tackle respect to referees and volunteers across the grassroots game.
As a reminder Utilita Energy’s ‘Grassroots Fund’ which is administered by Grassroots Football each month, has funded the creation and distribution of thousands of cards, posters and bibs that carry the message ‘No Ref, No Game’. The packs will be distributed to all affiliated leagues, both adult and youth. Last year, Utilita Energy funded the Covid-19 support packs for all leagues.
Each Adult League will receive the following;
• 2000 No Ref No Game Cards;
• 5 respect Marshall Bibs.
Each Youth League will receive the following;
• 30 respect Marshall Bibs;
• 11 A2 Respect Signs Indoor or outdoor usage;
• 1000 No Ref – No Game Cards.
Grassroots Football represents the grassroots community and offers support, resources and advocacy on behalf the millions of people that play the game or support the game. They offer a comprehensive knowledge base to assist anyone who has a part to play in making grassroots football the wonderful institution that it is.
Allocating the monthly grassroots fund, which is powered by Utilita’s Energy High 5, is Grassroots Football’s Paul Kirton - the founder of the largest online grassroots football community. He comments on why the packs are so important:
“The Respect campaign has been very effective in reminding players that without a referee, there is no game. The regular reminders are necessary, as passionate players can sometimes be quick to forget, so these packs will go a long way in spreading the message and making sure we all remember to respect the referee’s decision each and every game.”
Aquila Burgess, London FA’s Football Development Manager added “We are delighted to support our leagues again to help support with the respect which should be shown to volunteers and referees across the game, with the offering thanks to Team Grassroots and Utilita Energy High 5. As an organisation, we continually look to work with organisations who can offer our members valuable, insightful and essential services. We hope the packs provided will help leagues to tackle abuse suffered towards match officials.
James Heyes, Partnerships Manager at Utilita Energy comments on the important investment ““Our long-term investment in football, from grassroots to the Premier League, has become ever more important today - the sport needs as much support as it can get to recover from the devastating effects caused by the pandemic.
“Respect, not only for the ref, but for everyone who makes the effort to muck-in is so important - it’s what motivates volunteers to continue. Utilita’s State of Play report revealed that two in every five parents help their kids’ club in some way (41%) - whether that’s coaching, refereeing matches, on the touchline, ferrying kids to matches, washing kits, or making tea in the clubhouse - football exists through community involvement.”
The Grassroots Fund is powered by Utilita’s Energy High 5 campaign, which helps households to save up to £163 on their home energy bills. Through Utilita’s investment in football, the pro-pocket, pro-planet campaign has reached almost four million households in the UK since December 2019.
Individuals, teams and leagues can apply for the fund here.
For further information on Grassroots Football, please click here.
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