Last week Jenny joined 128 MPs calling on the Football Association to donate unsold England Football Team tickets at Wembley stadium to schools across the country.
The letter, spearheaded by Dr Rosena Allin-Khan MP (Shadow Minister for Sport), wants steps to be taken to ensure that the days of wasted empty seats are ended and to work with schools across the country.
"It is important we give girls and boys from across the country the chance to cheer on the Three Lions and inspire the next generation of footballers.
There were 28,000 empty seats at England's last home game against Slovenia. I echo Rosena's comments, it is 28,000 lost opportunities. I recently visited a team in Darlington, I am sure the girls and boys I met would dream of cheering on our national side at Wembley, but all too often they never get the chance.
Whilst the FA has done much to boost the sport at the grassroots level, more could and should be done to inspire the next generation of footballers. Giving away unsold tickets, particularly to schools in the most deprived areas, would do a great deal toward balancing out opportunities for all our young people".
Text from letter
Dear Mr Clarke,
We are writing today on behalf of the millions of England supporters we represent in Parliament.
Firstly, we would like to extend our congratulations to the Football Association, Gareth Southgate and the entire England team for qualifying for next year's World Cup. We're going to be cheering you on and the Three Lions will once again carry the hopes and dreams of this country as we will them to succeed.
But we are writing to you today because last week, England played Slovenia at Wembley Stadium in front of a crowd of 61,000 people - with 28,000 seats left empty. They represent 28,000 lost opportunities - opportunities to inspire England stars of the future.
We appreciate the work that the FA does at a grassroots level in our constituencies and note that the FA gave away 7,000 complimentary tickets to last Thursday’s game to charities and organisations from across the country. But this was a chance to do so much more. Wembley's 28,000 empty seats represents around a thousand school classes.
There are children across the country dreaming of being the next Harry Kane but seeing him play live remains a distant fantasy for many of them. There are children living in London's most deprived estates who can see Wembley from their bedroom windows but will never get the chance to go inside.
This is where the FA can make a real difference. For games where the FA expects or knows there will be a large number of empty seats, these unsold tickets should be given to our schools, especially those from deprived areas. Doing so could help transform the future of thousands of children.
The experiences we have in our formative years - especially when we are young children – help to shape what we believe is possible for us to achieve. Visiting Wembley, one of the world’s most famous stadiums, to watch our national team play, broadens the horizons of those fortunate enough to go.
We ask you to take steps to ensure that the days of wasted empty seats are ended and to work with schools across the country so that current and future generations of schoolchildren are given the opportunity to be entertained, motivated and inspired.
We look forward to your response.
With many thanks and best wishes,