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EE and The FA enroll 100,000 new volunteers to support grassroots football

EE has announced that over 100,000 volunteers have signed up to EE Playmaker by England Football, a free, online entry level football coaching course for grassroots volunteers aged 14 or over from any background, that requires no previous football experience before signing up.

In 2020 EE announced its ambitions as the new Lead Partner of the England Teams, including the goal of creating the most inclusive and diverse grassroots volunteering network through EE Playmaker. The goal was to create 100,000 EE Playmakers by 2024 and equip them with the skills, knowledge and confidence to support licenced coaches make safe, fun and inclusive football happen in the grassroots game.

The five modules on the course focus on the basics of football, providing users with skills, guidance and tips so that anyone can create a safe, fun, and inclusive environment for football to thrive.

Today, there are over 15,000 women enrolled as EE Playmakers with over 60% completing all five modules. After reaching the 100,000 milestone, EE will soon announce its next phase of targets, including more opportunities and initiatives for women in volunteering and coaching from grassroots to the elite level of the game.

EE Playmaker is having a positive impact across England’s grassroots playing fields. Over 250,000 players have been able to get active and play the game because of the opportunities created by the new Playmakers and the additional hours provided by existing volunteers with the qualification. 16,000 learners have also gone and found their nearest automated external defibrillator (AED) which means circa 160,000 people are now supported by someone who could grab this live saving device when necessary.

Playmaker is a key part of EE’s Home Nations partnership strategy, which is committed to supporting the grassroots, women’s and para & disability football communities.

Pete Jeavons, Marketing Communications Director, BT said: “In February 2020 we set a hugely ambitious target of creating an army of 100,000 new grassroots volunteers by 2024. Over 10,000 of our Consumer employees attended our internal launch such was the incredible support and passion for EE Playmaker. To reach that target two years early is phenomenal, but most importantly this initiative has removed traditional entry level barriers to build the foundations of a more diverse and inclusive volunteering network. We know the positive impact is being felt on football pitches across England and we’re proud that EE will undoubtably leave a lasting legacy for the game.”

Lucy Pearson, the FA’s Head of Education, added: “It is fantastic to see so many people stepping forward to volunteer in football – reaching our target so quickly demonstrates how many people across the country are wanting to get involved and ensure grassroots football is fun, safe and inclusive. We want to maintain this momentum, to see more and more people from across our communities stepping into the game and we’re excited about working with EE to do just that.”

Harvey Greenaway, an EE Playmaker volunteer, said: “It was great to be a part of the Playmaker initiative: it’s put me on the right path to becoming a coach and will allow me to go on and inspire other grassroots footballers.”

To get started with the Playmaker course, visit TheFA.com/Playmaker to become a qualified volunteer and make a difference at your local grassroots football club.

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