Drinking beer funding grassroots

A giant billboard made from living turf launched last week (Thursday, 19 October) in Birmingham city centre, accompanied by a pop-up Greene King IPA bar - commissioned to support Proud to Pitch In, a grassroots funding scheme where 10p from pints of Greene King IPA sold (plus 50p from 4x500ml can packs) goes towards funding grassroots sports clubs. 
Organisers say passers-by are able to pick up free cans of Greene King IPA from the pop-up bar (only 18s only, one can per person). Every time they do, the living billboard will be watered via an in-built sprinkler system, symbolising, according to the brewer, that keeping the beer flowing is the way to keep the grass growing. 
Greene King say that research from their Proud to Pitch In scheme has identified some of the main issues faced by clubs. For many grassroots sports, waterlogged pitches are often the main cause of cancellation, often with last-minute notice and potential financial losses. On the reverse, hot weather can cause dry, hardened grass surfaces that can put players at higher risk of head injury and concussion.

With over a quarter (26%) of people claiming their local sports club needs more funding for better quality pitches, amongst other necessary elements such as kits, clubhouses and equipment, the brewer is encouraging the nation to get behind the scheme and support grassroots clubs.
Emma Hibbert, head of marketing for Greene King IPA, said, “We launched the Proud to Pitch In scheme almost two years ago and we’re delighted to see the impact the funding is having on community sport, however we know there’s a long way to go and even more clubs we can help.
“Grassroots sport has a major impact not just on local communities, but at every level of the sporting pyramid. So many of today’s grassroots players will go on to be stars in their own right."
To date, Proud to Pitch In has awarded over £600,000 in funding to clubs. 

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