RNAS Culdrose Football Club brings annual £500,000 benefit to Community

Researchers for the Football Association have worked out that the grassroots club RNAS Culdrose FC generates nearly £500,000 a year in real and social benefits to the community of west Cornwall.

The Helston-based club was one of seven grassroots clubs from across the country selected for the 2018/19 survey by the Football Association (FA).

During March and April, researchers asked 157 players, parents and volunteers a range of questions about physical and mental wellbeing and compared it with the national average.

Aside from concluding football was a good form of physical exercise, the report also highlighted benefits such as building a sense of community, mixing with others from different backgrounds and improving the mental wellbeing of members and volunteers.

The report estimated that RNAS Culdrose FC brought in £469,000 to west Cornwall - in the form of £147,000 in direct economic benefit (i.e. money) and a further £322,000 in social value.

The direct benefit is worked out as the amount of actual money which is spent in the community, such as on fees, memberships, kits, socialising etc.

The social benefit attempts to put a figure on the wellbeing created by football, by estimating the equivalent increase in income someone would have to get the same benefits they have from playing football.

The report also looked at physical wellbeing, and found players and volunteers felt they were slightly ahead of the national average. When parents were asked the same question, they rated themselves slightly less fit compared to the national average.

When asked about their mental health, the players, volunteers and parents all thought their mental health level was above the national average. The same pattern emerged when they were asked about their levels of happiness, life satisfaction and if they were living a worthwhile life.

RNAS Culdrose Football Club provides a unique link between service families and the local community and it has been an integral part of that local sporting community for more than 70 years.

Lieutenant Commander Andrew Plenty

The football club’s chairman and Royal Navy officer Lieutenant Commander Andrew Plenty welcomed the findings of the report.

He said: “Our youth football section has brought over 220 service and civilian children together through sport and receives constant recognition for doing so. This report shows the impact our club has had on mental and physical wellbeing of all our members and the positive impact that it has had on our local community in Helston and the Lizard peninsula. 

“We are extremely privileged to have been selected for this FA National Study and hope it cements the importance of sport in the community.”   

RNAS Culdrose FC, which plays its matches opposite Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, has 195 adult players and 229 youth players on its books as well as 57 volunteers. It is heavily linked to service families but is open for anyone to join.