MCDONALD’S DELIVERS ITS FIVE MILLIONTH HOUR OF FREE FUN FOOTBALL AT WEMBLEY – AND COMMITS TO 1.5 MILLION FURTHER HOURS IN 12 MONTHS
McDonald’s Delivers Its Five Millionth Hour of Fun Football At WEMBLEY – AND commits to 1.5 million FURTHER HOURS IN 12 MONTHS
McDonald’s celebrated the milestone a year ahead of target as children from grassroots clubs that started the careers of the Three Lions squad were given the chance to play on the pitch graced by their heroes
On Monday 9th August 2021, McDonald’s celebrated the huge milestone of providing five million hours of Fun Football to children in the UK, a year ahead of their 2022 goal.
With so many children inspired to play football after a summer of sport, McDonald’s gave children from grassroots clubs across the country the chance to play on the famous pitch – before vowing to offer 1.5 million more hours in the next 12 months.
Fittingly, the five-million hour landmark was reached under the arch at Wembley Stadium, the scene of the England team’s heroics this summer. The Three Lions have made huge impact on children this summer, with McDonald’s seeing a 111% increase in new registrations for the sessions, even having to put more on more free sessions for youngsters inspired to play by home nation heroes.
Boys and girls aged 5-11, each representing former grassroots clubs of this summer’s England squad, enjoyed a very special coaching session with FA accredited coaches providing skills and drills from the McDonald’s Fun Football programme.
McDonald’s is the longest-standing supporter of grassroots football in the UK and has worked with the FA and other Home Nations Football Associations for the last 19 years. And24 of the 26 clubs that England’s Euro 2020 squad started their footballing journeys at were supported by McDonald’s through its grassroots programme. Players participating in the Wembley session included representatives from Harry Kane’s first club Ridgeway Rovers, Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s former team Handsworth FC and Molesley Juniors where Luke Shaw took his first steps in football.
McDonald’s Fun Football ambassadors and England football legends, including World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst, Martin Keown, Jack Rutter, were also at Wembley for the unique session to celebrate and inspire the young players – along with Frank Lampard.
At Wembley for the McDonald’s Fun Football session was 106-time England international Frank Lampard, who said: “It’s been great to spend the day at Wembley celebrating the five millionth hour of McDonald’s Fun Football. We’ve had over 60 children from around the country getting the chance to play on the pitch- and from the smiles on display, they’ve all certainly enjoyed themselves.
“Following on from the Three Lions performances this summer, I think there’s a real renewed passion for the grassroots game in this country. That’s something very positive to see. It's been a real pleasure to see today how many children are wanting to give football a go for the first time after being inspired by their heroes. McDonald's Fun Football sessions are free and available across the UK, so I’d encourage all families to get involved when sessions restart in September.”
McDonald’s ambassador Sir Geoff Hurst, who memorably scored a hat-trick in the 1966 FIFA World Cup Final at Wembley Stadium as England won their only major international honour, said: “Five million hours of Fun Football, what an incredible achievement for McDonald’s to reach this milestone. Congratulations to all the coaches and children who have helped to achieve that number - and what a fantastic place to do it at Wembley Stadium where memories have been made for myself and many, many others through the years.
“I’ve been an ambassador for McDonald’s Fun Football for 19 years, and it still amazes me the impact that investment from companies like McDonald’s has on the grassroots community, and importantly in driving participation with children. Having seen the enjoyment of the young players taking part in the session today, it’s clear that passion for the game is alive amongst kids after an exciting summer of sport.”
Paul Pomroy, Chief Executive Officer, McDonald’s UK & Ireland said: “Today is such a proud moment for everyone involved in the McDonald’s Fun Football programme. From the coaches who run the sessions, to the franchisees and restaurants that support them, we are delighted to deliver our five millionth hour of fun football on the pitch at Wembley. In just three years, we’ve given hundreds of thousands of children their first experience of football coaching, enabling them to make new friends, learn new skills and have fun whilst getting active.
“As a father of two young boys, I know just how important it is to ensure children enjoy being active but we know that cost is a barrier to participation for many families. Giving so many children across the UK access to free football is something everyone at McDonald’s takes great pride in. I’m incredibly pleased to announce our commitment to offering a further 1.5 million hours of Fun Football in the next 12 months.”
McDonald’s launched its Fun Football programme in 2018 with the goal to encourage kids aged 5 to 11 to take their first steps into football, getting 500,000 children into the game for the first time. The Fun Football sessions are designed and delivered by FA Accredited coaches – the curriculum includes introductory activities perfect for children who are new to football, helping them develop their all-round skills in a safe, fun and pressure-free environment.
This autumn, more than 350 centres UK wide will deliver Fun Football sessions, find a session local to you and sign up today at www.mcdonalds.co.uk/football.
For further information on McDonald’s involvement in grassroots football and to find out how your club could benefit, follow @FunFootballUK on Twitter and Instagram.
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For more information contact:
McDonald’s Press Office
0203 892 1000 / PressOffice@uk.mcd.com
The McDonald’s Sport Press Office
020 7025 6697 / firstname.lastname@example.org