Members of the senior squad showed their support for the campaign earlier today by posing with a giant Get Into Football banner at the England training base in Manchester.
Get Into Football is supported by a huge marketing campaign featuring members of the senior England team including vice captain Michael Owen, England women’s player Eniola Aluko and David Clarke of the England Blind Team. Real people from football – from local coaches, volunteers, first aiders and mums – will feature on posters, advertising and postcards which will be seen around the country in McDonald’s restaurants, JJB Sports stores and sports centres.
England Head Coach Sven Goran Eriksson, also present at today’s launch, commented: “I’d like to think that a good showing by England at the World Cup will inspire everyone to get their football kit out and play a part in our national game. There can never be enough players, coaches or volunteers in the game and I’m sure everyone that signs up for Get Into Football will gain richly from the experiences.”
Through the programme there are numerous opportunities for kids and parents to play their part in the game at the grassroots and local levels. The FA will call on the 270 football development officers from all over the country to publicise, coordinate and facilitate local opportunities through their roles at the local County Football Association. Everyone, regardless of race, age or religion, will be invited to sign up for the campaign and Get Into Football this summer.
The campaign encompasses coaching, child protection, disability football, football in schools, girls’ and women’s football, refereeing and small-sided football and volunteering.
As well as getting more people into the game, The FA is using the campaign to teach kids ‘fair play’ so they recognise the importance of respecting their opponents and the officials on the pitch. Parents who support their sons and daughters from the sidelines will also be targeted.
Sir Trevor Brooking, the FA’s Head of Technical Development, is fully behind the initiative: “This is a hugely important campaign for the FA which we hope will encourage and inspire boys, girls, men and women from all walks to get involved in the game. We hope that’s England participation in the World Cup Finals will be the catalyst for everyone to get off the sofa, play some football and join their local county FA.”