Cambridgeshire FA reveals more than £186,000 granted during Covid-19

Junior footballers in Norwich City Soccer Summer Camp

The Cambridgeshire FA said participation figures across all levels for the 2020-21 season had remained strong despite the Covid-19 pandemic. - Credit: Archant

More than £186,000 has been granted to football clubs in Fenland and East Cambridgeshire during the Covid-19 pandemic, as participation levels remain similar to last season. 

Figures revealed by the Cambridgeshire FA showed clubs in East Cambs received considerably less overall than north of the county, despite being given a reduced amount by the FA due to budget cuts caused by Covid-19. 

The funding, mostly from the Football Foundation and Sport England, has supported grassroots clubs prepare their pitches, ensuring their facilities are Covid-secure and additional equipment. 

In Fenland, £85,979 has been awarded by the Football Foundation, while in East Cambs, £62,754 was given out. 

However, East Cambs was handed £21,404 in emergency funding from Sport England whereas Fenland have received £16,052 since March. 

A Cambridgeshire FA spokesperson said: “With this crucial financial support from the Football Foundation and Sport England, we are extremely fortunate to be able to retain all clubs and ensure a safe restart to football.” 

Meanwhile, there has been no decline in the number of registered players across adult, youth, veterans, disability or walking football teams compared to last year. 

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There are 5,076 players across 39 adult teams, 137 youth teams, two disability teams and two walking football teams in Fenland, with 57 referees registered, over 16 per cent of the referee workforce in the county. 

In East Cambs, 4,739 players are attached to 32 adult teams, 175 youth teams and four veterans' teams, with 69 registered referees. 

The CFA has also launched its £20,000 Kickstart community football project in partnership with Cambridgeshire Constabulary, which aims to tackle knife crime and anti-social behaviour through providing free football and coaching or refereeing education opportunities for 14 to 16-year-olds. 

The spokesperson added: “We are making a conscious effort to engage with our clubs to maintain these participation levels.

“Our clubs have done a tremendous amount of work to ensure they are complying with the guidelines to ensure football can continue to carry on safely.”