Football Foundation teams up with MyLocalPitch
PUBLISHED: 18:00 02 August 2018
England’s World Cup heroics lead to 368% increase in enquiries
The Football Foundation, the largest sports charity in the UK, has teamed up with MyLocalPitch to roll out its innovative booking portal for community football venues.
The partnership seeks to revolutionise the way grassroots players access football facilities by delivering cutting edge technology to venues.
Initially, 25 venues have been selected to take part, with the potential to extend this to the additional Foundation-funded facilities in future.
Set up by the Premier League, The FA and the government in 2000, the Football Foundation has delivered £1.5billion of community sports projects in that time, including the development of 700 all-weather pitches, 1,000 changing pavilions and 3,000 natural grass pitches.
MyLocalPitch, which was awarded the best iOS App of 2018 and nominated for the Best Technology for Participation at the 2018 London Sport Awards, is a free service that enables sports players to find and book their games online through the website or app.
MyLocalPitch therefore combats a fundamental problem in the grassroots game, with research from the Football Foundation finding that 43 per cent of organisers are frustrated with not being able to see which pitches are available when trying to book.
Football Foundation Ambassador Graeme Le Saux said: “As a Football Foundation ambassador we are committed to raising the standards of community football and giving more people access to top quality facilities. MyLocalPitch shares this vision and are making a positive impact on how people access sport through an effective digital solution.”
The partnership means the Football Foundation will be capable of accurately tracking the number of people playing, their time spent at the facility and the frequency of their visits, with both parties working together to increase football participation.
As well as increasing the digital accessibility of facilities, the partnership will help the Foundation understand where best to direct their funding.
Jamie Foale, chief executive officer of MyLocalPitch, added: “The Football Foundation has made huge strides transforming the landscape of community football and delivering a digital solution using our platform will make access better for footballers all over the country.
“This digital investment will deliver long-term results and kick-off a new era for the sport.”
*Data from MyLocalPitch.com revealed a 368 per cent increase in football enquiries after England hit Panama for six at the World Cup in Russia.
Further analysis showed there was a 52 per cent spike in enquires after the Three Lions cruised past Sweden to set-up their semi-final with Croatia, as results in Russia caused a 21 per cent jump in grassroots football bookings too.
In contrast, there was a 35 per cent drop in enquiries following the dead rubber defeat against Belgium in the group stages and a four per cent dip after the third-place play-off loss.
Additional data reported a 15 per cent increase in website traffic following England matches.
MyLocalPitch chief executive officer Jamie Foale said: “England’s incredible semi-final run in Russia has given the country a new-found belief in the national side and it’s clearly had a big impact at grassroots levels.
“Footballers are taking to pitches to emulate their heroes and our platform makes it simple for people to find and book places to play.”