MSPs got a taste of the huge variety of initiatives designed for non-professional football on offer in Scotland as the Scottish FA held an evening celebrating Grassroots Football at the Scottish Parliament.
The evening saw the Scottish FA’s Football Development department deliver a demonstration of football activities to a number of MSPs in attendance, in order to raise awareness of the Scottish FA’s Grassroots Football strategy, the One National Plan.
Attendees also heard Andy Gould, Head of Football Development at the Scottish FA, announce that the Scottish FA had exceeded two key targets for the year, with 142,231 registered players and 535 clubs achieving the prestigious Quality Mark status.
MSPs were exposed to a range of opportunities at the evening to learn more about the vast array of grassroots initiatives delivered through the Scottish FA’s six regions.
They also learned about the One National Plan, which focuses on three key strategic areas of growing the game, developing talent and football for social change – all with the ultimate goal of delivering ‘Football for Life’.
In addition, the attendees had the pleasure of seeing the Scottish Cup, the oldest trophy in world football, and even got a first-hand demonstration of a Para-Football activity, donning specially designed blindfolds to test their skills at blind football.
George Adam MSP said: “We know that in order to develop football, at every level, is to ensure we get the grassroots strategy right. The Scottish FA over a number of years has recognised this and the recently launched ‘One National Plan’ emphasises this.
“As sponsor for this parliamentary event I welcome the aims of the plan to grow, develop and recognise the place that our national game has in our day to day lives.
“I hope the plan is as successful as its ambitions. I would also like to think that in the future we have the opportunities throughout football to ensure that everyone’s potential is recognised and realised.”
Paul McNeill, Regional Head at the Scottish FA, said: “Evenings like tonight provide an invaluable opportunity for the Scottish FA’s Football Development department to engage with our key stakeholders and give them a taste of what we are doing to deliver football to all regardless of ability, age or social standing.
“Football is a unique unifier in society and it’s the aim of the Scottish FA to make sure that everyone in Scotland has a chance to enjoy and participate in the game, in whatever role they may choose to do so.”
Stuart McCaffrey, Chief Operating Officer at the Scottish Football Partnership Trust and a guest at the event, said: “Football at grassroots level is the life blood of the game in Scotland and it was fantastic to see the Scottish FA’s Football Development department showcasing the tremendous work they do across the country in supporting players, clubs, coaches and volunteers in their developmental journeys.
“As a partner organisation, The Scottish Football Partnership looks forward to continuing to work closely with The Scottish FA in further developing football for all across all levels of the game in Scotland.”
Learn more about the One National Plan here.