Forest Green Rovers Football Club has a brand new kit sponsor supporting its youth academy. Grundon, one of the UK’s leading waste management companies and experts in minimising the environmental and financial impacts of waste, is supporting the football club’s U15 squad.
It’s a natural fit between the Nailsworth-based football club, known nationally and internationally as the world’s greenest football club, and Grundon which owns and operates a waste management facility at Bishop’s Cleeve, Cheltenham. Forest Green Rovers is owned by environmental entrepreneur and head of Stroud-based green energy business Ecotricity, Dale Vince.
The Forest Green Rovers Under 15’s squad and coaching staff, including head coach Scott Bartlett (first on right) and Anthony Foxlee-Brown, marketing communications manager from kit sponsors Grundon Waste Management (centre)
Grundon is working with Forest Green Rovers to help the football club achieve its ambition to recycle 100% of its waste. Currently the club diverts 95% of its waste from landfill so it can be recycled or recovered. General waste in the compactor goes for energy recovery. Mixed recyclables are taken to Grundon’s materials recovery facility at Bishops’s Cleeve and fully recycled. Grass cuttings are taken for composting. In 2016 Grundon will be supporting Forest Green Rovers through the introduction of food waste recycling, diverting it to an anaerobic digestion facility.
Forest Green Rovers has demonstrated its green credentials through being powered by solar energy, having its organic grass pitch mown by a robot and after four years of offering only vegetarian food to football spectators, it has recently become completely vegan. And all of this has been achieved with rising home game gate numbers.
“We visit the football club regularly and see first-hand the commitment of the coaches and how they are encouraging the next generation of players through the club’s growing football academy,” said Anthony Foxlee-Brown, marketing communications manager from Grundon. “Together we have a shared ambition to build a sustainable future for the benefit of both the environment and people, so we are delighted to be able to support this initiative through sponsoring the U15 squad.”
Anthony Foxlee-Brown, marketing communications manager from Grundon Waste Management present the newly sponsored Forest Green Rovers Under 15’s kit to the team captain
Forest Green Rovers has a thriving youth football academy, with over 150 young players turning out weekly to train and play competitive matches. The club is the longest serving member of the National League (the fifth tier of English football formerly known as the Football Conference) and is making strides to break into the football league for the first time in the club’s history.
Part of this ambition will be realised through its commitment to youth players. Scott Bartlett, head coach at Forest Green Rovers Youth Academy, said: “We have some really good young players of all ages, but our U15 squad have been together the longest and benefitted the most from our current youth academy set-up so it’s really good to see them supported by Grundon.”
Bartlett, a former Forest Green player himself, was appointed to lead the Academy set-up in 2011 and has revolutionised the youth system at the Nailsworth-based club by inspiring young players at the club and making it one of the strongest outside of the Football League circuit.
“The Academy relies on financial support from the youngsters themselves and their families, as well as our sponsors to run the coaching programme, so we’re appreciative of Grundon’s support.” added Bartlett.
In recent seasons a number of players from Bartlett’s Academy side have progressed into the first team including youngsters Louis McGrory, Aden Baldwin and Dan Martin being just some of the future stars who have made the step up.
Foxlee-Brown added: “We’re keen to help the club develop its own pool of talented players that we hope will one day go on to pull on the a first team shirt for Forest Green Rovers. We’re helping the club achieve its sustainability goals through the waste management service we provide, so it’s fantastic to be able to help them in some small way on the pitch to become more sustainable as club through developing and nurturing talented players of the future.”