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Community Football Summit 2020 

A one-day conference focusing on Bringing together everyone involved with
developing and delivering grassroots football

18th June 2020, Proact Stadium, Chesterfield FC

Strategies, policies, experiences, real stories and successes to be told, lessons to be learnt, ideas and experiences to be shared

The unique, must-attend event for everyone involved with community football

Svend Elkjaer, Founder/Director Sports Marketing Network

Chair and It’s all about change in community sport and physical activity

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Svend Elkjaer is founder and director of the Sports Marketing Network, a leading consultancy and information provider with community sport and physical activity. Being described as ‘a positive disruptor’ Svend has worked across the UK and Denmark with all types of providers and funders helping them to become vibrant, visible and viable

 Welcome and setting the scene

Chair, Svend Elkjaer, Founder/Director, Sports Marketing Network

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Svend Elkjaer is founder and director of the Sports Marketing Network, a leading consultancy and information provider with community sport and physical activity. Being described as ‘a positive disruptor’ Svend has worked across the UK and Denmark with all types of providers and funders helping them to become vibrant, visible and viable.

Alex Zurita, London Sport’s Specialist Advisor – Technology for Participation

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Alex Zurita is London Sport’s Specialist Advisor – Technology for Participation, with responsibility for shaping London Sport’s strategic commitments to supporting technology, data and digital initiatives designed to raise levels of participation in physical activity and sport in the capital. This includes leading the Sport Tech Hub, London’s strategic plan of action – ‘Making London the Heart of the Sport Tech World’ and engaging with sector-leading initiatives such as OpenActive.

Alex joined London Sport in 2011 with brief stints as Great Britain Women’s Football Team Manager, and a secondment to the London Legacy Development Corporation as Programme Manager for the multimillion-pound project – Active People, Active Park.


Engaging with non-traditional community football clubs

Tom Burstow, Deputy CEO, Sported

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Tom Burstow has been Sported’s Deputy CEO for the past three and a half years, leading on the organisations’ income generation and partnership development work across the UK. Prior to Sported, Tom work for nearly 10 years at UNICEF UK leading fundraising and programming through sport, managing major partnerships including as the legacy charity for both the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Inspiring girls aged 5-12 to experience football in a relaxed setting, whilst having fun and making friends

Katy Evans – Football Development Manager, Girls Participation, FAW Trustment Manager, Girls Participation, FAW Trust

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The School Sport Survey conducted by Sport Wales every three years’ highlighted that there was a huge demand from girls wanting to play football, but those numbers were not reflected in the affiliated club game; this is where Huddle aims to bridge the gap between a taste in school and entering the club game. Huddle was born in 2019 to inspire girls aged 5-12 to experience football in a relaxed setting, whilst having fun and making friends. Huddle is delivered by clubs and partners who have the ambition to introduce girls to football in an energetic and engaging manner – there’s no fixtures, or leagues, or strict kit to wear, the only rule is that it is fun!The FAW Trust is a registered charity and is responsible for the development of football in Wales. For more than 20 years, it’s been our job to work with the Football Association of Wales to protect, promote and develop the game of football to achieve our joint vision of: Football for everyone, everywhere in Wales.Katy Evans is one of the Football Development Managers at the FAW Trust with a National remit for Girls’ Participation. Since being in post from July 2018, Katy has researched, consulted and prepared the necessary elements that are valuable in attracting and retaining the ‘novice girl’ to football. With a background in gymnastics and netball, Katy has a passion for sport and is motivated to create welcoming and friendly environments for new participants to enjoy the wonderful game of football. .

Mixed Ability Football, bringing a new inclusive dimension to the game

Mark Goodwin, Founder/Director, Mason Faulkner, Project Manager, International Mixed Ability Sports

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In 2015 Bradford in West Yorkshire hosted the first Mixed Ability Rugby World Tournament and there are now around 20 mixed ability rugby teams around the UK.The inspiration for the first English Mixed Ability football team came from Anthony Brook, a young man with Cerebral Palsy and Learning Difficulties, who refused to accept that he could only play an adapted version of the game he loves and only play it with other disabled people.In the summer of 2016, the first Mixed Ability Football Festival was run in partnership with Mencap Doncaster Rovers’ 5 a-side pitches with teams from as far as London, Liverpool and Nottingham to South Yorkshire.The tournament has now run annually for 4 years and it has positive impacts for wellbeing, physical and mental health, friendship and relationship building at all levels.From the tournament, a min- league has been developed in South Yorkshire and what’s unique is that players are not graded, judged or identified as disabled. Participants are male or female and could have down syndrome, a physical disability or no impairments..

Ammanford AFC – from just a football club to more than a club 


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Ammanford AFC was for a while just one of many community football clubs with a senior side (with home gates of 50) and a couple of hundred Juniors, but with little engagement with their community.

Then two things happened: They secured funding a 250-seater stand at their new base and one of their senior players committed suicide. The club then decided to set up the Jac Lewis Foundation, in the player’s memory to raise awareness of wellbeing in young people by conducting wellbeing workshops.

That also led to change their outlook completely and they started to organise community events and charity fundraisers, selection boxes for kids at Christmas fixtures, flood appeal donations and so on.Working in partnership with local groups and charities they are now planning to develop a Mental Health Centre at the club, and the gates have rocketed to up 1200.This presentation will cover this ongoing journey.

How football can reach out and support homeless and disengaged people

Keith Mabbutt, Founder & CEO of The Street Soccer Foundation

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In the summer of 2015 former footballer, Keith Mabbutt launched the Street Soccer Foundation after learning of the plight of homeless people in England. The thought of using the global no.1 sport as a platform to attract, engage and inspire vulnerable young people was compelling.

But just how can football truly help those who are disengaged from our society and currently experiencing homelessness?

In this talk you will hear from Founder & CEO, Keith Mabbutt, on how the Street Soccer Foundation has gone on to become nationally acclaimed, now operating nationwide to deliver its flagship programme, the ‘Street Soccer Academy’, viewed as the number 1 football-led project tackling youth homelessness in England.

With the goal of driving change in the country using the power of football, Keith will provide an insight into the partnership-led approach the Foundation has taken to be able to help change lives, create opportunities, and build better futures for those the Foundation supports.

Keith Mabbutt was recognised by the Centre for Entrepreneurs and The Sunday Times as one of the UK’s most successful Businessmen supporting the next generation, A former footballer Keith Mabbutt, is a multi-award-winning entrepreneur and Founder & CEO of The Street Soccer Foundation.


Football Fever – recruiting and training young people/adults to become football coaches or Internet video sports reporters

Sarah Hawken, Health Improvement Manager, Brent Council 

Tom Derry, Operations Manager, WinkBall

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Sarah Hawken – Brent Council

30 years’ experience in Sports Development, Nutrition, Health, Wellbeing and Public Health. Passionate about getting people active and giving young people the opportunity to help shape their community and their lives.

Tom Derry – WinkBall

A former professional footballer, currently playing semi-professionally for Tonbridge Angels in the Conference South. On a day to day basis, Operations Manager at WinkBall; an internet television network that provides QR video and channels to businesses, publications, brands and organisations.

SALISBURY ROVERS FC: it’s your game, play it your way!

Debbie Sayers, Founder/Club Secretary Salisbury Rovers

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Salisbury Rovers FC has established a unique football model. The club prioritises and energetically promotes free play, children’s rights and creativity!The club withdrew from leagues in 2017 and delivers a multifaceted programme of mixed-age football and futsal across multiple settings, including in free community projects.Rovers is four years old this year and has already been rewarded with two County FA Club of the Year awards for its unique football model. The club’s innovative, evidence-based practice has also gained attention nationally and internationally, with its approach being shared on podcasts and in interviews.The club is an activist community. It works to change the grassroots environment for the benefit of kids. In short, Rovers aims to return football to the kids who play the game. To this end, the club has connected with coaches in the UK and abroad to raise important issues about the nature of youth practice and children’s rights at national level: see for example, ‘protection of children in football’ and the club’s recent survey on the mental well-being of volunteers.In 2018, the club launched the #freeplaypledge with coaches nationally and internationally, and from a variety of youth sports, committing to child-led play.Debbie Sayers is the founder, Club Secretary and one of the coaches at Salisbury Rovers. Each week, as a volunteer, she coaches more than 100 children from ages 5 to 16. The coaching includes free play, matches, futsal and football.Debbie has a PhD in human rights law and a commitment to children’s rights lies at the heart of Rovers’ model..