MAECare Extra Timers celebrates funding success to help grow grassroots participation in walking football in north Leeds.
Local walking football group MAECare Extra Timers was recently awarded a £500 grant by the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation. The grant, part of the Foundation’s Return to Football Fund, is aimed at bringing existing players, who may have lost confidence during COVID-19 back to walking football and to encourage new players into the game.
David Wynick, volunteer coach at MAECare Extra Timers, hopes that its new programme will enable it to significantly grow participation: “This funding will be used to help reach out to past players, men and women who have lost the habit of playing walking football due to lockdown. We also want to recruit new players, men and women who are looking for a walking football group where they can start enjoying the great feeling you get when playing the beautiful game, albeit at a walking pace. The Football Fund Grant is being used to support a brandnew Thursday afternoon activity in addition to our existing Sunday mornings. We also now have the funds to put in place new marketing and communication materials to help promote MAECare Extra Timers and the benefits of walking football throughout north Leeds.”
The grant comes as part of an investment of more than £16 million that has been made available to help clubs prepare for the restart of grassroots football following the pandemic. LS17’s own Robert Sullivan, chief executive of the Football Foundation, said: “It is vital for the local community in Leeds as they get back to playing football. Our Return to Football fund is supporting clubs across the country, helping them to kick-start our national game again locally and try to recover from the effects of COVID-19. This is part of our wider ambition to transform our grassroots game and unlock the power of pitches.”
MAECare Extra Timers now has 47 registered players ranging from their 50s to their 70s, with over a third of its team being ladies, an area which it continues to look to expand. The team would love to welcome new players, whether to its Thursday sessions at the YMCA playing fields on Otley Road or on a state-of-theart 3G artificial grass pitch at Alwoodley Primary School on Sundays. With COVID protocols in place, players of all ages are welcome to meet and play in a safe and welcoming environment. To get involved, contact David Wynick on 07921 528 499 or email firstname.lastname@example.org