McDonald's have launched the largest participation programme in the UK, aiming to provide a staggering 10.5 millions hours of free coaching to one millions kids across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales over the next four years.
'Fun Football' has been launched with help from current England internationals Jack Grealish, Jordan Henderson, Beth Mead, former England full-back Micah Richards and former Team GB and England Cerebral Palsy captain Jack Ritter, and will run in partnership with the Irish FA, Scottish FA, the Football Association of Wales and a national network of football coaching providers in England.
McDonald's 'Fun Football' is a new commitment to mark the brand's 20th anniversary of supporting grassroots football in the UK.
McDonald’s will continue to improve the accessibility of the Fun Football programme through training and upskilling of coaches. Ensuring over 800 Fun Football coaches have disability coaching badges and partnering with Kick It Out to make sure every Fun Football coach takes part in anti-discrimination training, which will aim to equip coaches with the knowledge and tools to help create inclusive environments for players and participants from all communities.
On the accessibility of the programme, McDonald’s Fun Football ambassador, Jack Grealish said: “I’m a firm believer that football should be for everyone and that’s why I wanted to get involved with the McDonald’s Fun Football programme.
"Accessibility in sport is something that is close to me personally, I have first-hand experience of how sport can benefit those with additional needs, and it is so important that we get behind programmes that increase the opportunities for every child to play and enjoy football.
"To build a grassroots programme, like McDonald’s has, that will offer one million children the chance to play football, is incredible and I am looking forward to seeing the programme kick off over the summer."
Alongside upskilling Fun Football providers, the programme will recruit over 100 women’s football coaches to support with increasing girl’s participation. Lionesses forward and McDonald’s Fun Football supporter, Beth Mead, commented:
“We already know the positive impact that having better women’s representation in the game has. We look at how our performance on and off the pitch can help inspire young girls to follow their dreams and play football.
"It is so important that their experience is one that is accepting of them and having more women’s coaches present at girl’s sessions will really help with that.I hope that the McDonald’s Fun Football programme will encourage more and more young girls to participate and fall in love with a game that I owe so much to."