Playfinder appointed Football Foundation PlayZones supplier to tackle inequalities
9 November 2022 • By - Bert Pauw
It’s official! Playfinder have been appointed Football Foundation PlayZones pilot supplier; a project focused on tackling inequalities and reducing barriers to access. We are honoured to be involved!
Jamie Foale, Playfinder CEO, commented: “Access to sport has never been more important than in the wake of Covid and we can see how innovation and lowering barriers to booking can tackle inequalities in participation. We’re delighted to be part of this forward-thinking programme and we will strive to provide a seamless experience for people wanting to play at Football Foundation PlayZone sites.”
What are Football Foundation PlayZones & why do they matter
Driven by years of research looking into the challenges for lower socio-economic and underrepresented groups to play sport, the PlayZones programme was initiated; to create outstanding and accessible sports and activity spaces in locations across the country. Pilot sites have been chosen in Birmingham and Leeds with many more consortiums, often led by local councils, identified to provide a home for the over 300 PlayZones sites. It is part of a £92 million investment from the Football Foundation into football and multi-sports facilities by the end of 2025.
The Football Foundation has found that in order to instigate behaviour change, priority groups want safe and welcoming spaces to play, including well lit, vibrant sports and activity facilities. It was also clear that booking gave people the confidence to turn up, along with a way to ensure guaranteed access when a group of players arrive.
What is Playfinder’s role?
The Football Foundation has been looking for a suitable partner to provide the access technology, and after a competitive tender process have selected Playfinder. As a sports booking platform Playfinder will provide our innovative Lockteq access solution to PlayZones and, alongside its Bookteq booking system, will give players the reassurance of reserving times and having access to the facilities guaranteed via a unique access code.
Playfinder’s expertise will help the Football Foundation and their funding recipients drive participation among underrepresented groups at the PlayZone sites. The platform saw a 32% increase in women and girls booking football pitches in the month following the Euro final, and have a proven ability of increasing the use of sports facilities by lower socio-economic groups.