The funding is part of a new drive by Greene King after research found females typically stop taking part in sports by the age of 16 with poor quality of local facilities identified as a major barrier.
Greene King currently funds grassroots sports across the UK through its Proud to Pitch In scheme, in which 10p from every pint of Greene King IPA cask ale sold in the on-trade goes toward funding grassroots sports.
According to the research commissioned by Proud to Pitch In, in which 2,000 UK women participated, other key reasons for ditching group sport included a lack of interest from friends.
Inspired to take part
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 more than a quarter surveyed (26%) saying they felt the success of the team had inspired them to take part in more sporting activity.
Greene King has already provided over £126,000 in funds to women’s sports groups across the UK since the Proud to Pitch In scheme launched almost 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.
Greene King chief executive Nick Mackenzie said: “It’s clear the success of the England team over the past 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.”
Funds to be doubled
Mackenzie continued: “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, added: “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.”