Jack Grealish launches free fun soccer coaching for kids with McDonalds
McDonald’s is celebrating the launch of its new Fun Football program which will give over one million children aged 5-11 the chance to enjoy free football coaching in the UK.
The new scheme will deliver over 10.5 million hours of fun football over the next four years, making it the largest grassroots attendance scheme in the UK. The program will be offered in collaboration with the Irish FA, Scottish FA, The Football Association of Wales and a network of national coaching providers.
The launch of this historic new program was celebrated at the National Football Museum with McDonald’s Fun Football Ambassadors welcoming some of the first one million children who will enjoy Fun Football over the next four years. Manchester City and England star Jack Grealish, Arsenal and England striker Beth Mead, former England defender Micah Richards, former Team GB and England football captain Cerebral Palsy Jack Rutter and Liverpool and England midfielder Jordan Henderson joined 30 boys and girls as they took part in a special Fun Football session outside Manchester’s iconic landmark.
McDonald’s will continue to improve the accessibility of the Fun Football program through coaching education and development. Ensure that over 800 Fun Football coaches have disability coach badges and partner with Kick It Out to ensure that every Fun Football coach participates 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.
Regarding the accessibility of the program, McDonald’s Fun Football Ambassador Jack Grealish said: “I strongly believe that football should be for everyone and that’s why I wanted to get involved in the McDonald’s Fun Football program. Accessibility in sport is something that is close to my heart personally, I have first-hand experience of how sport can benefit those with additional needs, and it’s so important that we support programs that increase opportunities for every child to play and enjoy football. grassroots like McDonald’s, which will give one million kids the chance to play football, is amazing and I can’t wait to see the program kick off this summer.
Along with upgrading the skills of Fun Football providers, the program will recruit over 100 women’s football coaches to support increased girls’ participation. Beth Mead, Lionesses striker and McDonald’s Fun Football supporter, commented: “We already know the positive impact of better representation of women in football. We look at how our performance on and off the pitch can help young girls achieve their dreams and play football. It’s so important that their experience is one that accepts them and having more female coaches present at the female sessions will really help with that. I hope that the McDonald’s Fun Football program will encourage more and more young girls to participate and fall in love with a game to which I owe so much.
As McDonald’s Fun Football expands, it will travel to communities that need it most, helping to break down barriers to participation associated with travel to sessions – with the goal of making the program accessible to all families.
“As a parent, I understand how intimidating or off-putting taking your kids to football for the first time can be. The great thing about Fun Football is that the sessions are designed to ensure that every level is catered for. supported and accepted. It takes a step back from the competitive environment of football and puts fun at the heart of every session, which is so important. Fun Football is the ideal environment for any child who wants to take their first steps in football and I encourage parents across the country to take advantage of the free sessions,” added Jordan Henderson, McDonald’s Fun Football advocate, parent and Liverpool captain.
McDonald’s is the oldest supporter of grassroots football in the UK and has worked with the Home Nation Football Associations for 20 years. Now in its 20th year, McDonald’s, alongside the Irish FA, Scottish FA and Football Association of Wales, is making its biggest commitment to grassroots football by doubling the size of the new Fun Football program .
Alistair Macrow, Managing Director of McDonald’s UK and Ireland, said: “Football is at the heart of every community – and after 20 years as a great supporter of grassroots football, no one knows that better than McDonald’s.
“And we now want to increase our grassroots support to ensure that more children, more families and more communities can directly benefit from the beautiful game.
“Our new program will promote increased access and inclusion, support physical and mental health and, most importantly, generate the community spirit that comes from coaching, playing and watching football.”
McDonald’s Fun Football sessions will take place across the UK, with the next wave starting in June. To find a Fun Football session near you, go to www.mcdonalds.co.uk/football. For more information on McDonald’s involvement in grassroots football, follow @FunFootballUK on Twitter and Instagram.