Recent research has discovered that one in five people in the UK are regularly playing or participating in football. This figure is steadily increasing and it is clear that more people than ever are now playing the beautiful game. The FA also says that youth football is increasing in popularity too across all sections of society, with particular increases in the number of women and girls playing, while the number of disability teams has also risen by 14%.
Increase in participation
There have been a number of successful initiatives to encourage participation in football, with a year on year increase for the last few years. Football is the biggest participation sport in the UK by a long margin and looks set to continue its rise across all sections of society as the sport becomes more inclusive and more money is poured into encouraging participation in schools, among disabled people and among female participants.
An interesting new type of football that is gaining in popularity is walking football. There are 800 clubs in the UK and this game offers a great low impact version of football as running is forbidden. Due to the massive new interest in walking football, the FA has had to draw up a rule book for the sport that everyone agrees on!
The size of football squads has increased, as more players are getting involved in the game. With the increase in participation across all sections of society, there is an increase in the demand for football clothing and accessories, and many brands are benefiting from increased sales. For example, football kit suppliers such as https://www.kitking.co.uk are seeing high levels of interest from new players looking for the right kit, from shorts and shin guards to football boots and shirts.
Smaller games and pitches
Casual games of football are increasingly becoming the norm too, and many other variations of the game are also popular and growing in interest in the same way that walking football has developed a huge following. Other versions of football that are gaining in popularity are mini football games and 5-a-side games. Smaller pitches are often used for children’s games and games with fewer players than the traditional 11. This has also increased participation and enjoyment for smaller matches and for training sessions and skills development.