To celebrate the return of grassroots football in England, adidas will be paying subs for players in two of the biggest amateur leagues in London for the next two weekends.
The relaxing of coronavirus restrictions from 29 March has allowed greater social contact outdoors and the return of formally organised outdoor sports.
In total, adidas will be supporting as many as 3,738 players from 267 teams that have been unable to play the game they love while lockdown rules have been in place in recent months. The commitment to grassroots football is part of the adidas Football Collective that aims to empower football communities around the world, starting with London and extending in future.
This weekend, adidas is partnering with the Amateur Football Combination (AFC), which is one of the biggest leagues in Europe, with 222 men’s adult and veteran teams across London.
Next weekend, adidas is also supporting the start of the new Greater London Women’s Football League (GLWFL), which is currently the only affiliated women’s league in the capital but has been providing football for women for more than 20 years.
“Grassroots football is back and we are as excited as players across country are to see the game we all love return,” said Chris Walsh, adidas vice-president UK. “Our adidas Football Collective initiative is about creating positive change through football and we’ve got much more to come on this as we all look forward to a hugely exciting summer for the sport.”
James Whitmarsh, league development chairman from the AFC, commented that the partnership is a welcome ‘helping hand’ to players and teams.
Julie Syer, general secretary of the GLWFL, said, “This is an amazing opportunity for us to be partnering with adidas to support our league. It’s been a long time for everyone without grassroots football, so we are really excited for our teams to get back out on the pitch next weekend – and it’s been made that little bit more exciting now that the subs are covered!”
The adidas Football Collective began in October 2020, when one of the first initiatives sought to provide 150,000 free kits to amateur teams across Europe, ultimately delivering those strips to 10,000 teams in men’s, women’s and junior sizes.