National Lottery Funding awarded to get more people active in Plymouth

£564,000 awarded to Argyle Community Trust to use football to boost the activity levels of people in Plymouth

An exciting new programme from Sport England, funded by the National Lottery, and delivered by the Football Foundation will support targeted communities in Plymouth get more active. Active Through Football is providing Argyle Community Trust, in partnership with a range of organisations, with the funding to increase participation in football. The consortium went through a competitive process to secure the funding which was open to applications from communities who face some of the greatest inequalities to being physically active.

Working with key partners, including Plymouth City Council Public Health, Active Devon, Marjon University, Devon FA, Street Games, Plymouth Community Homes, and Livewell South West, the Active Through Football project aims to increase physical activity levels amongst adults aged 30 – 50 in targeted areas of Plymouth who face the greatest barriers in becoming physically active. Starting in 2022, the project will be delivered over 5 years, with sessions ranging from recreational football, walking football, Soccercise and fitness classes. As well as increasing activity levels of the local community, the project will aim to achieve a reduction in smoking, excess alcohol consumption and poor dietary decisions amongst those who take part through a range of sessions and learning experiences.

Mark Lovell, CEO of Argyle Community Trust said, “The Active Through Football project gives us, and our key partners, a unique opportunity to make a sustained, positive impact in targeted communities in Plymouth. This project aims to reach those who do not currently participate in physical activity and find our current health and wellbeing provisions inaccessible for a variety of reasons. Participating in football has proven to have a positive physical, mental and social impact on those that take part and, with our partners and involvement from the local community, we look forward to developing further opportunities for those that need this most.”

Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of Sport England, said, “There is a reason why football is followed and played by so many the world over. It brings people together and helps build connections in communities. It’s also the sport that is played the most in England and has a reach into places where our research shows activity levels are lower.

Sport England is proud to be one of the funding partners helping to tackle these inequalities and to support more people from a variety of backgrounds to enjoy playing football and all the benefits that brings.”

Robert Sullivan, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “This grant award to Argyle Community Trust is fantastic news for the local community in Plymouth. Football is a game for everyone – regardless of their background – and it’s only right that people across all walks of life are able to play the nation’s favourite game.

“Over the past 21 years, we have been working with local authorities up and down the country to ensure everyone has access to high quality pitches.

“Thanks to Sport England National Lottery Investment, this new project will help to transform people’s lives by developing football opportunities in Plymouth, unlocking the many benefits of football for the community.”

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