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31st Jan, 2024

McDonald's Fun Football & Kick It Out team up to help diversify and develop grassroots football coaches across the UK

Kick It Out and McDonald’s have today announced a first-of-its-kind coaching development platform and coaching bursary fund to support the ongoing development of grassroots football coaches across the UK.

The partnership has been developed to improve the standard of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion coaching development materials offered to current grassroots coaches across the UK and vitally, offer more opportunities for underrepresented groups to get involved in the game.

The three-year partnership aims to make McDonald’s Fun Football the most inclusive football programme in the UK, utilising Kick It Out’s network and knowledge to reach passionate groups who are unable to get into coaching due to expensive courses or lack of opportunity and knowledge.

Grassroots football coaching has often suffered from underinvestment, however McDonald’s, in partnership with Kick It Out, is striving to drive change. The new course will teach coaches how to tackle unconscious bias in the game, champion inclusivity and provide vital support to coaching players from minority backgrounds.

McDonald’s has a long history of investing in the grassroots game and is determined to make it more inclusive than ever, ensuring that Fun Football coaches can welcome every child from every background and ability onto the pitch.

More than 150 McDonald’s Fun Football coaches will have the chance to undertake the online course first before it is made publicly available via Kick It Out’s digital channels for those with a Level One qualification and above.

Alongside the course, McDonald’s & Kick It Out are also launching a coaching bursary to support aspiring coaches who are unable to finance their coaching qualifications. The funding will focus on diversifying the coaching workforce and increasing the number of women coaches in the sport by ensuring the grassroots football coaching network is more reflective of communities across the UK. Applications will be available via Kick It Out’s Raise Your Game platform, where a Kick It Out funding panel will review each case and determine which ones are successful.

Andrew Moys, Vice President Impact and Communications, McDonald’s UK and Ireland said: “We have a rich history of supporting grassroots football and our goal is to ensure the McDonald’s Fun Football programme is not only the largest but the most inclusive free football programme in the UK.

“Partnering with an organisation like Kick It Out will enable our coaches to create meaningful change in their weekly sessions and is a big step in helping the programme achieve that goal. We are excited about the impact that this partnership will have on grassroots football coaching in the UK over the next few years.”

Hollie Varney, Kick It Out’s Chief Operating Officer said: “McDonald’s Fun Football is a very special programme and the number of children they offer free football to is impressive.

“This partnership is a huge step forward in giving opportunities and better training to those who have sometimes felt excluded. Together, we have big ambitions for grassroots football over the next three years and we are excited to get started.”

Last year, over 300,000 children enjoyed access to free McDonald’s Fun Football sessions held in over 1,500 locations and will continue to build in 2024 so more communities can benefit from access to free football coaching than ever before.