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Community involvement and volunteerism focus on a unique sponsorship program

Entain, the global sports betting, gaming and interactive entertainment group, and the Trident Leagues are delighted to announce a multi-year extension of their groundbreaking partnership based on investing in community sports. The extension will provide essential funding in the coming years, backed by the Entain Foundation under the ‘Pitching In’ banner, for the 248 clubs that make up the Northern Premier, Isthmian and Southern leagues – collectively known as Pitching In Trident Leagues, which constitute stages three and four of the national league system.

Originally launched in 2020, the Pitching In partnership was specifically created to provide the necessary financial investment, not only to keep the leagues running smoothly during the Covid-19 pandemic, but to enable individual clubs to engage with their local communities and make a positive social impact.

The Pitching In partnership was designed from the outset to deepen the connections between clubs and their local communities. The successful achievement of this goal has been supported by two major initiatives, the Trident Community Fund (“TCF”) and the Pitching In Volunteer Hub, both of which will receive additional investment as the partnership continues.

In December 2020, Entain became the founding partner of TCF, investing £150,000 each year specifically to enable clubs to engage in a wide range of vital community projects and invest in their local areas. To date, over 65 grants of up to £5,000 have been awarded with a focus on building community relationships. Successful projects include: programs enabling underprivileged children to participate in football; mentoring programs for youth, women and people with disabilities; community fitness clubs; football for older generations; first aid and steward training; youth development programs and; mental health support. (See notes to editors for TCF case studies).

In May 2022, Entain unveiled the Pitching In Volunteer Hub, a one-stop online portal that has become a one-stop shop for every Trident League club to connect football fans with potential volunteers. The Volunteer Hub provides a simple web interface through which clubs can post volunteer offers, while fans can search for available opportunities either at a specific club or based on their location. (See notes to editors for case studies on volunteering).

Stuart Pearcethe former England legend and captain, who spent more than five years in non-league football as a Wealdstone FC player, will continue to be Pitching In’s ambassador. Commenting on the launch, Pearce said :

“This is fabulous news not just for the Pitching In Trident leagues themselves, but for football in general. It provides a vital injection of cash to help leagues thrive but, perhaps more importantly, it helps bring clubs closer to their local communities.

“The Trident Community Fund is just a brilliant initiative to allow Cubs to really connect with their local people while the Volunteer Hub is a real game-changer for promoting volunteerism at the community level.”

Jette Nygaard-Andersen, CEO of Entain, said: “We are truly proud of what we have achieved with Pitching In and our partnership with the Trident Leagues, particularly in terms of the positive impact it has had. on grassroots sports and social engagement.

“Through the Entain Foundation, we are committed to making a positive contribution to grassroots and community sport, which plays such an important role in the lives of our clients.”

In a joint statement, Pitching In Trident League chairmen – Nick Robinson, Isthmian League), Mark Harris (Northern Premier League) and Anthony Hughes (Southern League) said:

“We couldn’t be happier to have Entain extend their partnership with us. It is truly unlike any other sponsorship we have been involved in. The program is entirely focused on how, together, we can help clubs develop and deepen their engagement with local communities.

“TCF and the Volunteer Hub are fantastic examples of their commitment to non-league football and how it can make a positive difference in people’s lives.”