Now is the time to make your feelings known about the grassroots game as the Essex County FA invites you to take part in The Big Grassroots Football Survey during the remainder of March at www.essexfa.com with the goal of finding out what progress has been made over the past year and prioritising for the next.
Essex FA said:
“We all want our national game to be successful and to thrive and we all have an opinion. Well the opportunity is here to tell The FA what you think, in collaboration with the County Office in Chelmsford. Whether your comments are positive or negative, targets have been set to beat the number of respondents gathered at Wembley Stadium in 2010 and build a clear picture.
‘I’ll tell you what they should do…’ How many times have you heard that, or the following, down the pub? ‘We’ll never win the World Cup with players like that.’ ‘There’s nowhere for kids to play.’ ‘All they do is take your money when you get a booking, what do they ever put back?’ Each individual has their own perspective on the future of the game and the collection of these viewpoints is vital in formulating strategies for the sport moving forward.
The Essex County FA are happy to talk of respected organisations’ successes in the knowledge that the development of the game is a work in progress and that improvements can still be made at all times. The survey is in its fourth consecutive year, and the varied questions include The FA’s work at a local level and the highly publicised Respect programme.
Essex County FA Chief Executive Phil Sammons commented: “Our football workforce has shaped The FA’s National Game Strategy, which resulted in a four-year investment worth £220m across the Country from The FA. Last year, the majority of our stakeholders thought we were doing a good job of promoting and developing the grassroots game in the County.”
“The National Game Strategy has seen a decline in eleven-a-side football halted, participation in many areas is up, the numbers of referees and coaches has increased and the Respect programme has helped us turn the corner in creating a more enjoyable environment for the game. However, we’re not resting on our laurels and it’s crucial that stakeholders take part in the survey to ensure that we go from strength to strength, with quality football opportunities for all.”
General Secretary of The FA, Alex Horne, added: “In the past three years, this survey has told us that the percentage of the public that think The FA is doing a good job of developing the grassroots game has improved from 37% in 2008 to 70% in 2010. There are nearly 2,000 new mini soccer and youth teams, £32m has been invested in new facilities and two million children are going through The FA Tesco Skills Programme. In order for us to keep making progress, it is vital that we know what the public wants to see us target and in which areas to prioritise.”