Basford United explore gap in the market

Basford United are hoping to capitalise on ‘a gap in the market’ and revolutionise their offering for women and girls.

The Pitching In Northern Premier League Premier Division outfit are among the latest recipients of a grant from the Trident Community Foundation, which has awarded over £430,000 to support more than 100 projects at clubs at Steps 3 and 4 of the non-League pyramid since being launched in December 2020.

United plan to use their cash injection to run holiday camps, set up girls’ teams for those aged between five and 11 as well as establishing walking football sessions for women.

“Our project to get more boys involved was a great success and we have grown to around 24 teams,” said Basford chairman Chris Munroe.

“It had a really good affect, it brought youngsters and their parents in to the club. Where we are in a deprived area, it had a really big impact.

“There has been a lot of growth in the girls and women’s game and we’ve seen an opportunity to replicate what we did with the boys.

“We want to bring more girls and their parents into the football club and we have seen a gap in the market for walking football for ladies, so that’s another area we’ll use the funding to actively pursue.

“The whole ethos of this is to tap into the community to engage girls, ladies and older ladies to get involved in sport through the football club.”

United ran successful holiday camps over Easter, when girls made up around a quarter of the 80 participants, and hope to go from strength to strength.

“We want to run half term camps in May and have a really big programme in the summer holidays as well,” he said.

“We are ready to hit the ground running. The Easter camps went really well and we see a really big gap for girls football in our area.”

On the pitch, United are locked in a relegation battle and sit three points above the drop zone with three games to go.

But attendances are on the rise at Greenwich Avenue and another bumper crowd is expected for the visit of promotion-chasing Macclesfield on Saturday.

“We’re not where we want to be at the moment,” Munroe said.

“We need one more win but it is tense as we want to stay at this level and it’s important that we do.

“Crowds have been good, they have gone up - partly off the back of these initiatives that we do. We’ve had a really good season in that aspect.”

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