A bold new strategy for Scottish non-professional football aims to grow the game across the country in both scale and diversity, develop talent and provide social benefits – all with the ultimate goal of delivering Football for All.
The One National Plan is the evolution of the Scottish FA’s previous strategy for growing the non-professional game across Scotland.
Building on the successes of the 2005 Youth Action Plan and the 2011 One National Plan, the 2017-2020 One National Plan provides the framework for everyone within Scottish football to establish safe, friendly and nurturing environments to promote enjoyment of the game and foster healthy lifestyles.
It sets an ambitious target of enlisting ten percent of Scotland’s population to become involved within Scottish Football in some form by 2026. To achieve this, it sets out four objectives, each with measurable targets:
- Participation: growing the scale and diversity of football across Scotland;
- Education: developing the capacity and capability of volunteers and the coaching workforce to support the growth and development of our game;
- Club Services: enabling all Scottish clubs to grow, develop and reach their full potential;
- Attractive Game: creating a culture and environment that attracts, retains and develops players, coaches and officials from across all communities.
“We are delighted to be launching the new One National Plan, which provides a clear framework for the Scottish FA and our key partners to drive progress and improve our game over the next four years,” said Andy Gould, Head of Football Development at the Scottish FA.
“The plan sets out strategies to engage and enable people from across all communities of Scotland to participate in football and enjoy the many benefits of our wonderful sport.”
Since establishing the Youth Action Plan, Scotland has seen a dramatic restructuring of its approach to grassroots football, which has in turn seen the number of registered players rise to a national record of more than 135,000.
One of the plan’s biggest successes thus far has been the creation of the Quality Mark Awards, designed to serve as an opportunity to raise the standards of community clubs – to inspire them and help them to strive to better serve both their members and the wider community.
At the start of 2016 the Awards reached the milestone of 500 clubs, more than 40 of which are Legacy clubs, the highest Quality Mark level achievable. The Legacy award is designed to inspire clubs to be more than just football clubs, but to use the game as a platform to spur positive social change within their local community.
Some of the additional successes of the previous plans have included the establishment of football regions within Scotland, each with their own designated Regional Manager and staff; the creation of the National Player Pathway; and the appointment of both Scottish FA Equality Officers and Girls and Womens Officers.
“Football continues to attract and provide meaning for a huge part of the population,” said Andy Gould.
“Our goal is to work with an increased range of partners to inspire more people from different backgrounds to become part of Scottish football.
“The new One National Plan is an excellent starting point and we are excited about using this to provide a clear direction to help broaden the appeal of football for everyone to benefit.”