Community Football Summit 2021

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Bringing together everyone involved with developing and delivering grassroots football in the new normal world
16th February, 16th March, 13th April, 18th May 2021
24th June 2021, Technique Stadium, Chesterfield FC

A myriad of community football providers and formats – adapting to new habits, technology and lifestyles

Community and grassroots football play a huge role in people’s lives, in sport and our communities.  Whether played in a traditional club, a community setting, a small-sided facility or somewhere else, or even online, football has the scope to engage with more people than any other sport.
Following on from the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown community football is facing some huge challenges but also some big opportunities for providing great football experiences delivered in many different ways, in unusual places creating new experiences and communities. The developments of the changes have been accelerated by the corona crisis.  

There is a wide range of providers and settings with different focus whether it is talent pathways, social integration or fun and enjoyment and it seems that there is precious little dialogue and engagement between the various providers of community football.

We are seeing an increase in the different formats of football, be it futsal, footgolf, walking football, e-football or freestyle and they are all attracting players from a wide range of backgrounds, dedication and talents. It has been estimated that more than 50% of football is played away from clubs.

There is also a wide range of football for change programmes where football is used as a lever to engage with disengaged groups to improve people’s health, educational attainment, and social inclusion.  They are often delivered by dedicated community groups and others who see football as a means to an end and not ‘just football for football’s sake’.

For the football governing bodies all these developments represent huge challenges and opportunities. Should they ignore them and stick with the traditional formats and clubs as the main providers or should they embrace all these developments and even consider to coordinate them all is a question which is important to community football at all levels.

So this is an exciting, innovative and flourishing sector with a larger number of different groups and providers involved, often doing great work, but with relatively little cross-sector engagement and communication. Until now – a connected grassroots football sector is what the Community Football Summit is trying to achieve.

Bringing grassroots football together

The Summit will bring together people with an interest in community football from across a wide range of groups and bodies together. They will learn from each other, share ideas and experiences and develop new partnerships all to build a vibrant, visible and viable community football sector.

Who should attend the Community Football Summit
Football governing bodies, schools, colleges, community groups, coaching companies, holiday camp organisers, football for change organisations, club representatives, charities, coach developers and leisure trusts.

Webinars and conference – all useful, practical stuff

 The four one-hour webinars will bring together anyone interested in developing a stronger network and skills base together with case studies and presentations from the grassroots football scene
culminating in a one-day conference (observing the COVID-restrictions at the time).

4 interactive and engaging webinars


The first webinar is free to attend.

The next three webinars cost £45 to attend (£35 for members of the Sports Enterprise Network (SEN)
To attend the actual conference, and the three webinar costs £155.00 (£130 for members of the Sports Enterprise Network)

Community football in the ‘new normal’, 16th February 2021 10 am BST
Svend Elkjaer, Founder, Sports Marketing Network

3 Webinars 

Community football focusing on the person 16th March, 10 am BST
Svend Elkjaer, Founder, Sports Marketing Network
Joey Peters, Founder, Game Play Learn Game Play Learn | Learning Through Games and Sports

Bringing back the joy to children’s sport 13th April 2021, 10 am BST
Svend Elkjaer, Founder, Sports Marketing Network
Ken Willner, Founder, Yellow for Yelling Yellow for Yelling

Community football for all, regardless of background or health 18th May 10 am BST
Svend Elkjaer, Founder, Sports Marketing Network
Abdulsalam Juma, Project Officer, One Culture Football One Culture Football

The organisers

Sports Marketing Network (SMN) is a unique organisation where physical activity and community sports providers can share best practice on how to become vibrant, visible and viable and develop innovative and enterprising enterprises.
We have been described as positive disruptors and we have worked with a wide range of sport, physical activity and community organisations helping them to adapt, change and become better equipped to the changing landscape.
More than 4000 community sports providers from across the have participated in one of our Grow Your Club workshops, benefitted from 1:2:1 consultancy and mentoring, attended one of our conferences, participated in one of our webinars or read one of our Guides, so we have developed an unparalleled knowledge and understanding of the opportunities and challenges for the enterprise and innovation aspects of community sport and physical activity.
Thousands of people involved with community sport and physical activity across the UK and Scandinavia have participated in one of our ‘hot topics’ conferences covering issues such as Innovation and Enterprise in Community Sport, More Disabled People into Sport, More Girls into Sport, Britain’s Active Parks and A Healthier Nation through Sport and Physical Activity, to name a few…