10 December 2020
Entain’s “Pitching In” and the Trident Leagues Announce Launch of Foundation to Support Non-League Football Clubs
England football legend and Pitching In ambassador, Stuart Pearce, says foundation “will make a big difference to community clubs”
Entain (owner of Ladbrokes and Coral in the UK) and the three Trident Leagues (The Isthmian, Northern Premier and Southern Leagues) today jointly-announces the launch of the Trident Community Foundation to help fund community-based projects through a grant application process for the 228 football clubs in the leagues.
“Pitching In”, Entain’s recently launched grassroots sport investment programme, is the founding partner of the Trident Community Foundation (TCF) and has donated £150,000 to establish the TCF fund, for distribution over the rest of the 2020/21 season.
“Pitching In”, Funded by the Group’s own Entain Foundation, was announced on 3 September 2020 as the partner of all three Trident Leagues, The Pitching In Isthmian League, The Pitching In Northern Premier League and The Pitching In Southern League, and today’s launch of the Trident Community Foundation is the latest phase of the “Pitching In” grassroots sport investment programme. It comes at a time when football clubs and sporting organisations across the nation are facing the unprecedented impact on their finances of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Trident Community Foundation’s aim is to support, develop and improve the delivery of community programmes at the football clubs and help fund small and medium-sized projects. The Foundation’s vision is to create a strong sustainable community programme that will help clubs develop young talent, promote non-league football to a wider audience, attract volunteers to Trident League Clubs.
Under the Independent Chairmanship of David Emery (Editor of the Non-League Paper), the TCF Board is made up of Nick Robinson (Chairman of the Pitching In Isthmian League), Mark Harris (Chairman of the Pitching In Northern Premier League), Anthony Hughes (Vice-Chairman of the Pitching In Southern League) and two representatives of Entain Group as the founding partners. It is envisaged that as the Foundation expands, more partners will be recruited with possible representation on the TCF Board.
The application process has been kept simple to provide the best opportunity for Trident League Clubs to obtain funding for various types of community-based project. No project will be too small, and in the first year the maximum grant award will be capped at £5,000. This could increase in the future should the TCF Fund increase.
Commenting on the joint launch by Pitching In and the Trident Leagues of the Trident Community Foundation, Shay Segev, CEO of Entain Group said:
“We are delighted and very proud that through our Pitching In programme, Entain is establishing the Trident Community Foundation, in partnership with our friends at the Trident Leagues. This unique and exciting partnership will provide grassroots support where it is needed most for the benefit of community-based football clubs, and the thousands of people that play for them, work for them, volunteer for them, and support them. This is exactly in line with the approach we recently set out when launching our Sustainability Charter.”
England footballing legend, Stuart Pearce, who recently returned to his non-league footballing roots as the official Pitching In Ambassador, says: “I’m personally thrilled that Pitching In and the Trident Leagues are launching this Foundation, as I know first-hand what a big difference these grants will make to the community football clubs playing at this level of the football pyramid. Community football is facing the most challenging time imaginable because of COVID-19 pandemic, so the establishment of this Foundation is all the more welcome for that.”
In a joint statement, the three leagues – Nick Robinson (chairman, Isthmian), Mark Harris (chairman, Northern Premier) and Anthony Hughes (vice chairman, Southern League) said today: “The Trident Leagues are delighted to see the Trident Community Fund launched. Our clubs are at the heart of their local communities and the Fund will provide them with the means to strengthen those links. No scheme is too small and we hope that as many clubs as follows take advantage of this new funding.”
Trident Community Foundation chairman and editor-in-chief of The Non-League Paper David Emery said: “I am very honoured and proud to have been asked to chair the Trident Community Foundation board.
“I started covering non-league football at my local paper when I was 17 and it is the bedrock of our sport. Non-league clubs are embedded into their local communities and they bring a real wellbeing to their respective areas.
“The timing is perfect. There is a feeling of optimism around the country – the vaccines started this week – and we hope the leagues will start kicking off again very soon. Once they kick off again, the clubs can look forward with some optimism and these grants will help that.
“There will be a massive variety of projects put forward by clubs and I am looking forward to seeing the range of applications that come in.”
In line with the decision taken by Entain (formerly GVC Holdings) in 2019, to unilaterally pull-out of sponsorship of football in the UK, the Pitching In partnership will not promote any of the Group’s betting or gaming brands and no branding will be used at any of the leagues’ grounds.
Further announcements on additional projects will be made in the coming weeks and months. For more details see: https://entaingroup.com/sustainability/pitching-in/
The Trident Community Foundation
- The Trident Community Foundation has been set up by the three Trident Leagues (the Southern, Isthmian and Northern Premier Leagues) and Pitching In (set up by ENTAIN to provide grassroots sport investment)
- The 228 football Clubs playing in the three Trident Leagues will be able to apply for grants of up to £5,000 to help fund a variety of different community-based projects.
- David Emery, editor of the Non-League paper, is to be the first Independent Chairman of the TCF Board. The TCF Board will include representatives of the three Trident leagues and two representatives of ENTAIN Group.
The Trident League Partnership (launched on 3rd September 2020)
- The Pitching In Investment Programme has become the Official partner of the Northern Premier, Southern and Isthmian Leagues which make up the Trident leagues at levels seven and eight of the English football pyramid (steps 3 and 4 of the National League System) in a multi-year agreement
The Pitching In Isthmian League
- The Isthmian League was founded in 1905 and covers London, the East and South East of England with 82 Clubs across 4 divisions at Steps 3 and 4 of the FA National League System
- There are 22 clubs in the Isthmian Premiership and the champions of the 2018/2019 season were Dorking Wanderers
- Worthing were in first position when the 2019/20 season was terminated on 26 March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic; however, they were not officially recognised as champions
The Pitching In Northern Premier League
- The Northern Premier League was founded in 1968 and covers all Northern England and the northern/central areas of the Midlands.
- There are 61 clubs across the Premier Division (Division One North West and Division One South East which make up the Northern Premier League
- The Premier Division champions for the 2018/19 season were Farsley Celtic with South Shields top of the league when the 2019/20 season was terminated on 26th March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic
The Pitching In Southern League
- The Southern League was founded in 1894 and covers the Midlands and South of England and Wales
- There are 84 clubs which are divided into four divisions; Premier Division Central, Premier Division South, Division One Central and Division One South
- The Premier Division central champions for the 2018/19 season were Kettering Town with Weymouth champions of the Premier Division South. Peterborough Sports were top of the Central Premier and Truro City top of the South Premier when the 2019/20 season was terminated on 26th March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic
Pitching In Partnership With SportsAid (Launched 27th September 2020)
- Pitching In announced on 27th September 2020 that through its partnership with SportsAid, it is supporting 51 young British athletes over the next twelve months, providing financial support, recognition and personal development.
- Notable beneficiaries of GVC’s partnership in 2019/20 include archer Eleanor Piper, rifle shooter Ruth Mwandumba, track and field star Joel Clarke-Khan, para table tennis player Craig Allen and wheelchair basketball talent Ross Davidson
- A total of 12 recipients of support in 2019 have continued on the programme with GVC in 2020
- July saw Cheyanne Evans-Gray join the 2020 cohort, the sprinter, who competes for Croydon Harriers and set a new British University and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Championships record over 60m this year, balances training with a job at one of GVC’s Ladbrokes betting shops in Croydon
- The young athletes will be following in the footsteps of legendary figures such as Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Sir Mo Farah, Dame Sarah Storey and Ellie Simmonds OBE - all of whom received SportsAid support - and more recent beneficiaries including Dina Asher-Smith and Adam Peaty MBE
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About Entain plc
Entain plc (LSE: ENT) (Formerly GVC Holdings plc) is a FTSE100 company and is one of the world’s largest sports-betting and gaming groups, operating both online and in the retail sector. The Group owns a comprehensive portfolio of established brands. Sports Brands include bet.pt, bwin, Coral, Crystalbet, Eurobet, Ladbrokes, Neds and Sportingbet; Gaming Brands include CasinoClub, Foxy Bingo, Gala, Gioco Digitale, partypoker and PartyCasino. The Group owns proprietary technology across all of its core product verticals and in addition to its B2C operations provides services to a number of third-party customers on a B2B basis. The Group’s unique technology platform also powers BetMGM, the joint-venture it operates with MGM Resorts to capitalise on the rapidly regulating US sports betting and iGaming market. Entain is tax resident in the UK with licenses in more than 20 countries, across five continents. The Group’s commitment to delivering sustainability and growth is recognised through its membership of the FTSE4Good and DJSI ESG indices, which identify companies that meet globally recognised corporate responsibility standards.
For more information see the Group’s website: www.entaingroup.com