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High five

The new FA Fives initiative aims to use this year's Euro 2020 tournament to build a nation-wide legacy for football

Published in Sports Management 2020 issue 3
The England team made it all the way to the semi-finals at the 2018 World Cup and created a buzz around the country / shutterstock
The England team made it all the way to the semi-finals at the 2018 World Cup and created a buzz around the country/ shutterstock

A national five-a-side football festival aims to use this summer's UEFA Euro 2020 tournament as a catalyst to get people from all backgrounds more physically active.

The FA Fives programme will see events take place at more than 120 locations around England in May, with successful sides progressing to regional festival finals at the end of the month.

From there, teams can qualify for national finals, which will be held before the start of Euro 2020 in June.

The initiative is part of the Football Association's (FA) legacy programme for Euro 2020.

England is one of the main hosts of the event, with group stage games, round of 16 games and the semi-finals and final being played at Wembley Stadium. As part of the bidding process to become a host city for the tournament, The FA secured a £1m contribution from government to build a legacy from the tournament.

After making it to the 2018 World Cup semi-final, the expectations are high for the England team. An appearance by the home team in one of the Wembley games could whip up a similar interest in the team experienced in 2018.

In total, 15 different male and female categories will be contested through the Five programme of festivals, across adult, veteran, disability, youth and walking football.

Venues from the top 20 per cent most deprived areas in the country were encouraged to apply to be a Round One host, with the aim of providing a free activity for their community and the possibility of obtaining further funding from our Small Grants programme.

It is the biggest and most inclusive five-a-side football event to date and the FA hopes to encourage more than 5,000 teams and up to 50,000 participants to sign up for the games.

“This gives us the opportunity to promote physical activity through free football in some of the most deprived areas of the country," said Patrick Brosnan, Sport England's strategic lead for football.

“The inclusivity of FA Fives strongly aligns with our goals as an organisation. The 15 different categories mean that it doesn’t matter who you are, there is an opportunity for you to get involved and have fun. The festivals, and the further National Lottery investment through our Small Grants programme, give us a chance to build a genuine legacy from EURO 2020.”

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