Shape the Play

31st December, 2021

£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.

Paul Surtees, CEO of EPIC Teesside and Director of Football for Shape the Play commented: “I’m delighted to be involved with a scheme that will encourage people in my community to come together and get more active.

“The activity has been tailored around the desires of each community – as opposed to a “one size fits all” model – so I’m confident that this scheme will encourage people to join in, get fitter, improve their social interaction and mental health and have a lot of fun doing it!” added Paul.

Robert Sullivan, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “This grant award to North Riding FA is fantastic news for the local community in Stockton and Thornaby. 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 a range of football-inspired fitness activities in Stockton and Thornaby, unlocking the many benefits of football for the community” added Robert.

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