Community League

The Birmingham community’s league has been running for 5 years now as was created as part of the FA’s “Get into Football” programme as a means to providing access to the 11-a-side format of the game. The Sandwell community’s league is going into its second season and has two divisions containing 14 teams that play one game per month at a central venue with the cost at £2 per player that covers the cost of the pitch, the referee and affiliation. The leagues have been successful in tackling issues such as time or financial commitments and increasing participation.

To help promote the leagues and encourage other teams to join this format of league BCFA have created a partnership with Birmingham City FC to create a community cup. The final of this competition will form part of a community’s day that Birmingham City are hosting to celebrate diversity and community cohesion. The club have worked hard to raise the standard of equality and this is evident in the fat that they are the only club outside of the premier league to hold the advanced equality standard award.

This new competition the Birmingham Communities Cup will be played in the style of the FA cup with the final taking place at St Andrews. The first round draw was conducted at Birmingham’s Wast Hills training ground on Monday 22nd February and the teams were drawn by first team manager Gary Rowett and Goalkeeper coach Mark Sale.

The first team staff really got into the spirit of the competition and manager Gary Rowett had some great advice for the teams to “Score as many goals as you can!”

Also involved was Football Development Officer Matt Price who said “It has been great to have Birmingham City involved and see how keen they are to link with the local community and provide one off opportunities to help promote community cohesion. The draw that we held was testament to the clubs involvement and Gary Rowett and Mark Sale were eager to learn more about the work that has been done to increase the number of people playing football.

We have vast range of ethnicities across Birmingham and many different languages spoken but we have seen through the communities leagues how football can be used to unite these communities. The final itself will be a celebration of our multi-cultural society and hopefully encourage other players and teams to contact me to see what Birmingham County FA may offer them.”

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