More young Islanders will be able to take part in beach soccer thanks to the ongoing support of the Isle of Wight Foundation.
The Foundation – made up of the organisations behind Island Roads – has donated nearly £3,500 to IW Beach Soccer. The grant will allow the not-for-profit beach soccer organisation to provide two further sets of mobile goals allowing it to offer more activities to young people and in particular develop opportunities for participation by girls.
It is the second time the IW Foundation has supported beach soccer as part of its annual programme which offers grants to organsations tackling social exclusion.
In 2017 the foundation awarded £3,500 to buy new senior and junior mobile goals, which helped IW Beach Soccer expand its activities both in terms of coaching and hosting events in the community.
Welcoming the new award, Luke Kerr of IW Beach Soccer said: “The Foundation has been a fantastic supporter of IW beach soccer which has enabled us to take the sport – with all the benefits it brings – to more and more people.
“This year we held 25 events accommodating 200 teams. With the two new sets of goals we can acquire thanks to the IW Foundation, we can now accommodate twice as many teams and pay particular attention to encouraging girls to participate in our events.
“With these additional goals and our beautiful Island beaches, we can continue to grow and make the Isle of Wight the Beach Soccer capital of England.”
As well as being a pioneer for the activity, IW Beach soccer uses the sport to promote six key themes: tourism, environment, health, fitness, reducing crime and supporting charities.
Each year The IW Foundation – comprising Ringway Island Roads, Meridiam, VINCI UK Foundation and VINCI Concession gives grants of between £3,000 and £16,000 to Island charities, good causes and organisations working to tackle social exclusion and isolation. Since 2014, nearly half a million pounds has been given to such causes.
Under the grant scheme, an Island Roads employee ‘sponsors’ the application from a group and then acts as a link to build an ongoing bond between the foundation and the recipient.
Denise Scott, programme manager at Island Roads who sponsored the IW Beach Soccer application has two children who are fans of the activity.
She said: “I am really pleased that the foundation has once again been able to support this activity. This new equipment will help IW Beach Soccer continue to grow and offer all young people on the Island a healthy and rewarding outdoor activity.”