Shape the Play

£564,872 AWARDED to North Riding FA to use football to boost the activity levels of people in Stockton and Thornaby

An exciting new programme from Sport England and the Football Foundation, funded by the National Lottery, will support Stockton and Thornaby to get more active and increase participation in football.

The funding will focus on driving participation from residents in the Roseworth, Hardwick and Salters Lane, Newtown, Stockton Town Centre, Parkfield and Oxbridge Wards in Stockton, plus Mandale and Victoria, Village and Stainsby Hill Wards in Thornaby. 

The scheme has four target audiences, namely: females, ethnically diverse communities, people with learning disabilities and people with mental & physical health conditions.

Andy Clay, Football Development Manager of North Riding FA, said: “We’re delighted to have secured this funding which will improve access to a new range of football-inspired fitness activity for people living in Stockton and Thornaby, where inactivity levels can run as high as around 50%.

“The programme is as much about improving mental health and well-being – offering activity that encourages people to get together and socialise – as it is about improving overall fitness and wellbeing” added Andy.

Cllr Jim Beall, Chair of Stockton-on-Tees Health & Wellbeing Board said: “We know that physical activity is good both for the body and the mind so we welcome the significant extra investment locally, knowing that it will provide great opportunities for people in the community to engage in football-inspired fitness, have fun and make friends. There are no barriers to getting involved – even if you’ve never played football before you can give it a go.

“We know that services are taken up more if they are delivered locally and designed by local people, so we’re delighted to be a partner in the Shape the Play programme, and I’m really looking forward to it all kicking off – pun intended!” added Cllr Jim.

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.”

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