By Angela Green
Over a quarter of a million in funds has been pledged to women’s sport as part of a new drive by Greene King, following the recent success of the England women’s football team in Australia.
The pub company and brewer currently funds grassroots sports across the UK through its ‘Proud to Pitch In’ scheme seeing 10p from every pint of Greene King IPA sold going toward funding grassroots sports.
According to new research commissioned by Proud to Pitch In, the average age women stop taking part in group sports is 16, with a lack of female clubs in communities seen as a major barrier.
The study of 2,000 UK women revealed that other key reasons for ditching group sport include the poor quality of local facilities, as well as a lack of interest from friends.
However, the recent success of the England women’s football team on the world stage has provided a significant boost in interest in women’s sports, with over a quarter surveyed saying they felt the success of the team had inspired them to take part in more sporting activity.
Greene King IPA has already provided over £126,000 in funds to women’s sports groups across the UK since the Proud to Pitch In scheme launched nearly two years ago, and CEO Nick Mackenzie has pledged to aim to double that amount, to continue the growth of women’s sport in the UK through grassroots support.
Mackenzie said: “It’s clear the success of the England team over the last year has changed women’s sport for good. We’ve seen a massive increase in support from our customers right across the UK as pub goers flocked to their local to cheer on the team, and we’ve also seen a major uplift in women’s clubs applying for fundraising grants. It is vital we continue to build on that momentum.
“As such, we’re aiming to double the amount of funds that go towards women’s sport through Proud to Pitch In – meaning over £250,000 will go to local clubs to help with facilities, training, equipment and more over the next 12 months.”
Emma Hibbert, Head of Marketing for Greene King IPA said: “Proud to Pitch In provides grassroot clubs with grants of up to £4,000 to help with whatever their club needs to succeed, and the best thing is it’s open to any over-18 clubs, regardless of the sport.
“We’re grateful for the continued support of thousands of cask beer drinkers across our pubs for supporting the scheme by buying Greene King IPA to raise money for clubs. To date we’ve provided funding for some incredible projects so far, from rowing clubs to cricket teams and football clubs, and so far, we’ve given over £500,000 in grants to over 200 clubs, including men’s sport, women’s sport, and mixed clubs.
“While we’re aiming to continue to invest in women’s sport following the recent tournament, don’t let that stop you from applying for a grant – Proud to Pitch In is truly for all.”
Proud to Pitch In rewards clubs with a grant of up to £4,000 – Apply for funding here.