The Trident Community Fund (TCF) grassroots football project has benefited from further financial support from the Entain Foundation’s Pitching In initiative.

Entain’s total financial contribution to the initiative and TCF has now exceeded over £1 million, with the latest funding round funnelling £150,000 to the three Trident Leagues – Isthmian League, Northern Premier League and Southern Leagues.

The 2020/21 season saw the TCF provide grants to 27 clubs to run community coaching projects, expanding girls’ football, strengthening health and wellbeing initiatives for five to 16 year-olds and further develop community football infrastructure.

A total of 245 football clubs can access a grant application process through this season’s Pitching In programme, coordinated by the Pitching In Isthmian League, The Pitching In Northern Premier League and The Pitching In Southern League.

“The Trident Leagues are delighted with today’s announcement of the next round of funding from the Trident Community Foundation,” said Nick Robinson, Isthmian League Chairman; Mark Harris, Northern Premier Chairman and Anthony Hughes, Southern League Vice Chairman, in a joint statement.

“This latest phase of Entain’s Pitching In grassroots and non-elite sports investment programme is critical for the future of non-league football. Our clubs are at the heart of their local communities and this funding will provide them with the means to strengthen those links.”

A multi-million pound programme aimed at investing in grassroots and non-elite sport, the Pitching in programme is organised by the Entain Foundation and is the focal point of the FTSE 100 sports betting operator’s headline partnership with the TCF.

The partnership commenced in December 2020 in the middle of the 2020/21 season, when many non-elite clubs were struggling with the financial implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Entain initially made a £150,000 donation via the Entain Foundation, with the stated goal of creating a ‘strong sustainable community programme that will help clubs develop young talent, promote non-league football to a wider audience and attract volunteers’.

In March of this year, the firm confirmed that it would continue honouring the financial commitment to non-league teams, despite the Trident Leagues decision to abandon the season.

“The new Pitching In investment couldn’t come at a more challenging time for the grassroots football community,” said Stuart Pearce, Pitching in Ambasador, former England Captain and Manager of the 2012 Team GB Olympic men’s football team.

“Non-league football clubs faced unprecedented effects on their finances from the Covid-19 pandemic and many clubs continue to struggle to stay afloat. Entain committing to further funding of non-league teams will make a big difference to hundreds of clubs, thousands of players and hundreds of thousands of fans across the country.

“The Trident Community Foundation demonstrates the true meaning of Pitching In and strengthens existing bonds within communities across the country. I look forward to seeing non-league clubs thrive so that the future generation of football fans can experience and enjoy the game at grassroots level.”

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