Launched in 2021, the Greene King IPA Proud To Pitch In scheme allows grassroots sports clubs to apply for a funding grant of up to £3,000 – however to celebrate the one year anniversary, a one-off lump sum of £10,000 is being made available to clubs. To apply, or to nominate a club, simply go to greeneking-pubs.co.uk/proud-to-pitch-in/.
According to new national research from Greene King IPA, the 2022 UEFA Women's Euros has inspired a surge in grassroots sports participation, however there is more work to be done when it comes to funding.
While the research revealed a third (30%) of people decided to take up a grassroots sport due to the success of the Women's Euros tournament, many people feel clubs lack funding, and that barriers to participation still exist.
In total, only one in 20 (6%) believe their local sports club receive sufficient funding. Over a quarter (26%) of people believe local sports clubs need more funding for training facilities, kits, clubhouses, and pitch or court maintenance.
In addition to this, nearly two fifths (37%) of 18–24-year-olds said there are no grassroots sport opportunities in their local community and over half (59%) of women said that, as children, they were not encouraged to take part in sports.
Elsewhere, over a quarter of people (29%) revealed the cost of-living crisis had impacted their decision to join a grassroots sports club, including almost half (42%) of 35–44-year-olds.
The call out for clubs to apply for funding is being led by ex-footballer and Proud to Pitch In ambassador, Robbie Savage, who maintains that grassroots sports are essential to the UK's sporting pyramid.
Robbie Savage, GK IPA's Proud To Pitch In ambassador said: "Grassroots clubs are essential for communities up and down the country. They are not only a great social outlet, but grassroots sport is brilliant for mental and physical health.
"It's fantastic that so many people have been inspired by the incredible Lionesses, however, it's clear that clubs are struggling for funding, especially during the cost-of-living crisis, and with energy bills rising.
"Attitudes towards grassroots sports still have a long way to go, which is why Greene King IPA's Proud To Pitch In scheme is so important, and a great opportunity for teams to receive all important funding."
The scheme, which is available throughout the UK, sees Greene King donating 10p from every pint of Greene King IPA and 50p from every 4x500ml can pack sold* to support the scheme which sees grants awarded to clubs of up to £3,000, plus the recently announced one-off £10,000 pot.
Supporting over 19,000 beneficiaries to date and funding up to 100 projects, the Greene King IPA Proud To Pitch In scheme is available for all grassroots sports clubs in the UK with participants aged 18 and over. So far, Greene King IPA Proud to Pitch In has donated £250K to grassroots sports clubs across the UK and pledges to aim to give away £1 million to clubs before the end of 2023.
Will Hemmings, Greene King Brewing and Brands Marketing Director said: "We are delighted to celebrate one whole year of the Greene King IPA Proud To Pitch In scheme. For us, the scheme isn't a one-off campaign, but a continuous pledge from Greene King to create a lasting impact for thousands of clubs across the UK.
"We want grassroots sports to flourish, however we're aware of the challenges that many clubs face, which is why supporting clubs with additional funding is so important.
"With a cost-of-living crisis affecting households across the country, it is now, more than ever, so important that we keep clubs funded - in order to help maintain, and improve, the nation's social, mental, and physical wellbeing.
"Pubs and grassroots sports both play a critical role in local communities. They are spaces people can socialise and meet new people, which is great for mental health and wellbeing. What's better than bonding with a new friend about sport, over pint of IPA, in a cosy pub!
"So, whether you play football or hockey, are in a roller skating club, or organise a Zumba class, we want to support as many local clubs as possible – which will hopefully go a long way to keeping everyone in action."
To apply, or to nominate a grassroots sports club for the £10,000 funding lump sum, visit: https://www.greeneking-pubs.co.uk/proud-to-pitch-in/
Teams have from now until Sunday, December 11 to apply, and the winner will be contacted in January.
Additionally, grants of up to £3,000 are still available to clubs and teams, and applications for these can be entered here: https://www.greeneking-pubs.co.uk/proud-to-pitch-in/