I believe that Britain is behind America in progressing their young sporting talent. There are no real scholarships in Britain like there are in the US. Students are expected to complete all school work as well as trying to improve at their chosen sport. There is also very little funding for less glamorous sports than football. It can also be seen that although footballers who are regularly being paid tens of thousands of pounds a week are living a glamorous lifestyle, there are also thousands of players in the lower leagues who are being paid considerably less. These top-class footballers are set for life, however the less fortunate players who play in the lower leagues will have to retire at around the age of 34 or 35. The retired players usually have no real future as they have given all their lives to football. When they were young they were kicking a football around when they should have been studying. Many face financial ruin.
Additional agencies and bodies There are many additional agencies that help to ensure the smooth running of football clubs all over the country: Organisations such as the St Johns ambulance service are at every Sutton United game. UNICEF has teamed up with non-governmental organizations, private businesses, government agencies and football superstars to establish educational and recreational programs around the world that involve football. The global appeal of football is a tool for engaging young people in a positive future.
TWS Associates Ltd is a specialist consumer marketing agency with over 20 years experience in football focussed campaigns, supporter research and relations. The government also specifies that all people working with children are child protection officers. This helps to keep all participants free from any harm. Provision for female competitors
It can be clearly seen that there are many local football teams for men, however there are much fewer for women. This is also the case at professional level in the UK. There are now no full-time professional womens clubs. This is in contrast to women in football in the USA. The women have their own professional league with there seeming more interest in the womens game than in the mens. Due to this, the American womens national team has been very successful, winning two world cups. This shows just how far the British governing bodies are behind their American counterparts. In the past it has been seen unfeminine for women to play football in the UK. This has come from sexism in previous governments. Female football gets much less coverage on TV with only the Womens FA cup and internationals shown on TV. Some English women have had to resort to travelling to America to earn a living from football.
Nationwide has sponsorship of the three womens leagues, under the banner of The F.A. Nationwide Womens Premier League. Nationwide also enjoy sponsorship of The F.A. Premier League Cup and partner sponsorship of The F.A. Womens Community Shield, The FA Womens Cup and the England womens teams. Although there are girls teams at schools at the moment, there is much less participation than by the boys. This is because there seems to be no importance in the womens game. There are local cups as well as county and national cups. Unlike with the boys where there are teams for each year, there are teams for a group of ages, such as under15s or under 18s. This is again due to the lack of participation of the girls. There are a few scholarships for elite womens footballers at places such as Kingston and Richmond universities, but nowhere near the amount of their male counterparts. These scholarships are obviously only for the elite women footballers. At the moment womens football in England is not very popular. Even the Womens World Cup and Womens football in the Olympics do not draw a lot of viewers. I believe that the only way that womens football could become more appealing would be if it could be hosted in this country. This would draw a lot of attention to the womens game.
Provision for disabled athletes Although there are huge numbers of people playing football all over the country, there are very few organisations who cater for disabled participants. The British Football Association for the Visually Impaired, was established in the late 1970s to allow the opportunity for those individuals aged 16 and upwards with visual impairments, whether totally blind or partially sighted, to participate in football. From those humble beginnings where only a handful of teams were involved came the implementation of a league system in 1980 and the visually impaired football league catering for partially sighted players has evolved progressively to this day.
Today the British Blind Sport Football League comprises two divisions each containing 7 teams playing 5-a-side indoor football nation-wide teams from as far a field as the north-east South Shields and the south-west Avon Sports based in Bristol. The North West are represented by Northern Sports (Manchester) and Inter Cosmos mainly Cheshire based. The Midlands have a number of clubs; Birmingham Sports, Midland All-Stars, Loughborough Lions and the Royal National College for the Blind, RNC. The capital is represented by London Sports.
Fulham Deaf FC was founded in 2003 by a group of deaf footballers led by Nick Beese who was somewhat concerned about the lack of deaf football opportunities in South West London and very keen to make a contribution in improving deaf football welfare in South West London, prior to the setting up of Fulham Deaf, there were only three deaf football clubs registered in the British Deaf Sports National Cup from London, whereas previously there used to be twelve London representations. The number of Deaf football clubs has decreased over the last decade unfortunately due to the lack of support and commitment from the community. Lack of understanding from the outside community has also contributed to this temporary downfall. However it does not mean that the numbers of deaf footballers in London are on the decline, as there are many active deaf five a-side teams in the capital competing in local five-a-side mainstream league.