Ely City Crusaders net fresh investment to help improve facilities

The Ely City Crusaders under 7s squad. Picture: ELY CITY CRUSADERS

The Ely City Crusaders under 7s squad. Picture: ELY CITY CRUSADERS - Credit: Archant

Ely City Crusaders are celebrating after they secured fresh investment to help boost their facilities.

The club was awarded a grant from the Premier League, The Football Association and the Football Foundation to improve the quality of grass pitches at Ely City FC’s Demcom Stadium on Downham Road.

Since joining forces, Ely City Crusaders and Ely City have managed to pocket a £38,304 grant towards the 10-year project, as they aim to improve the back pitches in order to host mini soccer, 7v7, 9v9 and 11-a-side games.

Vicky Sizer, secretary at Ely City Crusaders, said: “Football makes a huge difference to the players, coaches and community here.

“We see first-hand the impact on players’ confidence, physical health and mental focus.

“To receive this funding from the Premier League, The FA and the Government through the Football Foundation means a lot to us, as it will help us to improve grassroots sport in the area and get even more people involved in the nation’s favourite game.”

Paul Thorogood, chief executive of the Football Foundation, added: “We’re dedicated to improving grassroots football facilities because we want to encourage more people to get involved in our nation’s favourite game, regardless of their background, age or ability.

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“That’s why I’m delighted that this funding will support Ely City Crusaders in developing their grass pitches for the local community.”

He added: “Made possible by investment from the Premier League, The FA and the Government, via Sport England, the Football Foundation is supporting the grassroots game by improving access to high-quality football facilities across the country.

“We believe in the power of pitches to transform lives and strengthen communities and so we’ll be investing £1bn across the country over the next 10 years.”

Founded in 2000, the Football Foundation is the largest sports charity in the UK funded by the Premier League, The FA and the Government via Sport England.

It develops new and refurbished grassroots sports facilities in order to improve the quality and experience of playing sport at the grassroots level.

Since it was launched, the Foundation has awarded over 17,377 grants worth more than £684m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of £870m – totalling over £1.5bn of investment into the grassroots game.