Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has this week supported The FA’s vision to transform the grassroots football landscape in England by signing up to three pledges at an event in Westminster.
These pledges include; ensuring every adult and child to have access to a great community football facility; using football to improve the physical and mental health of the nation; and doubling the number of women and girls taking part in football.
A new FA report has found that in addition to social benefits, the direct economic value of grassroots football is £2.1bn each year, while the health benefits of playing regular grassroots football produces a cost saving of £43.5m per year to the NHS through reduced GP visits alone.
Speaking about the report, Jeff said:
“As a lifelong football fan myself, I know that grassroots football is an essential part of our culture and can often have significant benefits for both our physical and mental health.
I am therefore pleased to support the FA’s pledges to make grassroots football accessible for all and to promote the game to a wider audience.”
Mark Bullingham, The FA’s Chief Commercial and Football Development Officer, said:
“This new research demonstrates the significant impact that grassroots football has across the country. We have always known that football improves people’s health; this report quantifies exactly by how much, and also demonstrates football’s social contribution to players and society as a whole.”