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April 15, 2007

Football show leaves London for the Midlands

Proving the growing attraction of the Midlands for live events, The Grass Roots Football Show is moving to the exhibition halls at the Ricoh Arena, home of Coventry City FC.

In selecting this venue, Steve Chittenden, event director for organiser VCM Events, explained: “Following its first successful outing in 2005 at ExCeL in London, we wanted to bring the show to the heartland of British football – within 40 miles there are no less than 14 professional clubs, an estimated 15,000 grass roots football teams, from which over 1,000 clubs hold the prestigious FA Charter Standard status. Plus, with its excellent location just off the M6, it’s so easy to get to no matter where you’re coming from.”

The show’s marketing director Bob Rosen points to the support the show is receiving from the local and regional football communities, as well as local BBC Radio. “Taking place on 9 and 10 June, the event is for all grass roots volunteers, and it’s where they’ll pick up the latest training drills, source the most up-to-date kit and equipment for their clubs, and hear what the experts have to say,” he said. “We have also been encouraged by the keenness of local Football In The Community (FITC) schemes to be involved. Plus we’ve got a great line-up of big-name sponsors Umbro, Nike, Prostar and Precision Training.”

England and Arsenal Ladies Captain Faye White highlighted the benefits the event brings. “I am delighted to once again be supporting the Grass Roots Football Show,” she said. “The growth in female participation is still huge and the show provides a fantastic showcase for ladies football and gives visitors a wealth of information to take back to their clubs and improve overall standards.”

Support from new and past exhibitors is also greatly in evidence with bookings already exceeding the original floor space – the total number of exhibitors is expected to reach over 100, up by a substantial 35%. And with a new, accessible registration process, the organisers expect more than 8,000 managers, coaches, referees and club officials will attend the two-day event.

Many of the great and the good will be participating in the seminar, workshop and feature programme – personalities already signed up include Sir Trevor Booking, Director of Football Development at the FA, ex-England and Aston Villa Manager Graham Taylor, Steve Round, assistant coach to England manager Steve McClaren, and Bill Beswick, England Team Psychologist.

Importantly the FA are using the event to run a series of associated conferences, including the FA Charter Standard Conference, the first ever UK International Female Match Official Development Day, and the FA Match Officials Association (FAMOA) Conference.

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