The grassroots football season has begun with a huge and refreshed push by The FA and Football Foundation on the Respect scheme to ensure that football – both on and off the pitch – continues to be enjoyable, inclusive and a positive experience For All.
The FA Respect equipment scheme will make a suite of digital assets available to all grassroots clubs, leagues, schools and County FAs across England. This will provide parents, coaches, players and match officials with a range of positive messages which can be shared via social media and digital publications to uphold and implement the values of Respect.
In addition, all Respect equipment is being made available to clubs and leagues at a substantially discounted rate for a six-week period at the start of the season. Clubs and leagues will be able to apply to the Football Foundation for a voucher which entitles them to a 75% discount until 22 September 2017.
The equipment offering now includes stronger pitch-side spectator barriers with a call to action, additional promotional materials and Attention-boards that can be branded with the club or league’s logos. From 23 September 2017, the vouchers will revert back to clubs and leagues attracting a 50% discount.
All affiliated clubs with Under-7s teams will be automatically entered into two prize draws during the season and have the chance to win one of 200 Barrier Pro Sets. Successfully drawn teams will be contacted by the Football Foundation two weeks after the respective draw has taken place. Please note, the 200 winners will be drawn in two timeframes – the first 100 will be drawn over the next couple of weeks and the second draw will be made in the second half of the season.
The FA will also pilot Respect signage at a number of grassroots sites over the 2017/18 season, which will be used to convey messaging that positively reinforces good behaviour amongst parents, coaches, players and officials.
The Grant Management Team at the Football Foundation has tested a number of grassroots sites where the pilot scheme will be trialled. It is hoped that each of the grassroots sites will be positively received so that the pilot can be extended further in future seasons.
Process for Club, Leagues and County FAs to access assets:
Leagues and County FAs will receive the digital assets directly from The FA
Kelly Simmons, Director of Participation and Development, said:
“Football provides fantastic opportunities to have fun, stay healthy and learn crucial life skills.
“Whilst we want the game to stay competitive, it is essential it is conducted in a respectful manner so that people can enjoy the experience, develop their game and learn new skills.
“These digital and physical materials help to promote a positive environment For All and it is our collective responsibility to act with Respect for our fellow participants so we can create the right environment for everyone in the game.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said:
“Volunteers are the lifeblood of the grassroots game. People are less likely to keep returning to play, coach and officiate if they experience swearing or violent behaviour.
“We want players of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to enjoy the best possible quality of experience – from the surface they play on, to the friendliness they encounter on and off the pitch. The Respect campaign is a key part of making that happen.
“I would encourage all stakeholders in the grassroots game to make use of these digital assets to help us collectively achieve a positive environment on match days.
“I would also strongly recommend that clubs and leagues take advantage of getting the physical materials at this heavily discounted rate, by applying for the voucher via the Football Foundation website. They will greatly help project the right image and backdrop to help facilitate a good experience for players, parents and officials.”