Active Through Football is a new Sport England initiative and Stoke-on-Trent has been shortlisted to apply for a share of £10m funding to increase physical activity for people aged over 18.
Staffordshire University is working with partners including Staffordshire FA, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Stoke City FC Community Trust, Port Vale Foundation, Engage Communities and Together Active to put together an application for funding. If successful, the National Lottery and Football Foundation funding would help provide new activity for people who would benefit from being more active in some of the poorest areas of the City.
Jo Ellard, senior lecturer at Staffordshire University, is leading the consultation. She said: “We want to hear from people who would like to be more active and have ideas about how all different sorts of football related activity could be beneficial for their community.”
“Community engagement is central to shaping our proposal to the Football Foundation and, more importantly, ensures that those people we want to help have a say in what they would like - when, where and how.”
As part of the consultation, focus groups will take place in nine council wards across the city, namely Abbey Hulton & Townsend, Bentilee & Ubberley, Blurton West & Newstead, Burslem Central, Etruria Hanley, Joiners Square, Meir North, Moorcroft, Norton & Ball Green.
Residents can also complete an online questionnaire which asks them how physically active they are, what are their main barriers to taking part in sport and how they think football could help them become more active. Or they can take part in an online focus group. Participants will be entered into a prize draw to win prizes including;
- £25 Amazon gift voucher
- pair of Match tickets at home for Stoke City FC or Port Vale next season.
- signed Stoke City FC shirt
- signed Port Vale FC shirt
- £10 Asda food voucher
Gemma Machin from Staffordshire FA added: “The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a further reduction in activity levels, poor health and an increase in financial hardship in communities.
“One project cannot solve all of these problems but by understanding people’s experiences and ideas and what might be preventing them from taking up a sport, we hope to begin to make a positive improvement for individuals, families and communities.”