Today sees the launch of a new brand for Scotland’s grassroots football, designed to showcase the Scottish FA’s non-professional game strategy and vision – and ultimately deliver football to the entire country, along with all the benefits that come with playing the game.
The new brand, which launches during UEFA Grassroots Week, supports the recently-launched One National Plan, a four-year strategy for non-professional football in Scotland, which sets out a vision of providing Football for Life.
The strategy also details three outcomes – Football for All; Skills for Life; and Clubs for Communities – that will result from achieving this vision, each of which will benefit both the game, and society itself.
Football for Life
The overarching vision of the One National Plan, Football for Life, aims to provide opportunities for every person in Scotland to participate and develop through the national game. This in turn will grow the value and benefit of football for individuals, communities and society alike.
Football for Life aims to grow the game across Scotland by making it more attractive and sustainable. This will be achieved through initiatives that increase participation, deliver education and enhance the services clubs bring to their communities.
Beyond growing the game, Football for Life encourages lifelong participation – not only increasing participation in the game, but ensuring that once players are involved in football they stay in football for life.
These three outcomes are a key part of the new brand: Football for All; Skills for Life; and Clubs for Communities. Every football programme that the Scottish FA offers at grassroots level falls under the category of one of the three outcomes.
Football for All
Football for All focuses on growing the game. It aims to grow the scale and diversity of football participation in Scotland by increasing recruitment and retention of participants, regardless of age, gender, background or ability.
A huge variety of forms of football are already on offer across Scotland, from Walking Football to Over 35s Football to Futsal to Deaf or Blind Football. Football for All aims to continue this steep upward trend of ensuring that football is available to anyone who wants to become involved.
Football for All encompasses programmes such as Walking Football, Futsal, Disability Football and the Girls Soccer Centres.
Skills for Life
Every national team player started their journey within grassroots football. Scotland’s game therefore needs to be prepared to give every player – regardless of ability – every chance to fulfil their potential and develop skills that come through participation in sport.
Football offers so much more than an enjoyable sporting activity. Participation delivers real-world, invaluable skills such as teamwork, leadership, respect, an appreciation of the importance of hard work and resilience – or in football terms, bouncebackability.
Skills for Life also relates to supporting the growth and sustainability of the game, this time through the development of Scottish Football’s volunteers, referees and coaches. Existing education courses will continue to be developed to increase their range, reach and impact, while every effort will be made to nurture a positive culture throughout grassroots football in order to further incentivise the development of talent.
Skills for Life encompasses programmes such as the Lidl Skills Centres, the CashBack Schools of Football, Coach and Referee Development, and Positive Coaching Scotland.
Clubs for Communities
Clubs are the lifeblood of Scottish Grassroots Football. With this in mind, Clubs for Communities aims to empower clubs to achieve their full potential in delivering benefits to their communities. Clubs will contribute to the pyramid of players, coaches, referees and volunteers required to grow and sustain the game.
The strategy supports clubs and schools to improve the range and quality of the activities, projects, people, pathways and facilities they offer that serve individuals, communities and Scottish society as a whole. In short, the plan will support clubs, recruit more volunteers, and ultimately inspire communities through football.
Clubs for Communities encompasses programmes such as the McDonalds Grassroots Awards, the Community Club Project, Club Business Services and the Quality Mark Club Accreditation Scheme.