Chris Matheson, MP for the City of Chester visited several sites in his constituency on Saturday, learning more about how the FA and Cheshire County FA investments are widening grassroots participation and improving facilities in the local community.
Chris visited the Ability Counts disability football league at the University of Chester where he was able to get stuck in, refereeing a match himself. Ability Counts is a national disability football programme set up the FA to give disabled footballers the opportunity to play regular competitive football. He also visited Blacon High School’s new state of the art 3G pitch funded by the FA and Premier League Facilities Fund to see a series of under 9s matches.
In recognition of his support for the game in his constituency, Dan Landstrom, County Disability and Inclusion Development Officer, and Cameron Foster, County Senior Football Development Manager, then presented Chris with the FA’s Grassroots Champion award – an AstroTurf style doormat for use in his Parliamentary office!
This visit is part of the new #FootballFootprint Campaign which is being run by The FA, the not-for-profit national governing body for the game in England, in conjunction with local County FAs. The campaign is giving MPs an opportunity to meet with the army of workers and volunteers that make grassroots football possible at a local level and to visit showcase sites, initiatives and matches.
Chris Matheson MP said:
“I was honoured to receive the FA’s Grassroots Champion award as part of their #FootballFootprint campaign on the weekend. Investment in grassroots sport for all ages and abilities is absolutely essential, particularly here in Chester, so I was delighted to show my support by visiting some of the state-of-the-art facilities and leagues dedicated to disability football.”
Paul Kelsall, County Development Manager of the Cheshire FA, said:
“We were delighted to show Chris some of the great work being done in Cheshire to support grassroots football. Over 6,000 volunteers help the Cheshire FA support the 56,000 amateur players in the county so we were thrilled to participate in the FA’s #FootballFootprint campaign that champions their hard work and dedication to the game.”
[Original text supplied by The FA Group]