International award!

Monday, 18th June 2012

The Scottish FA has received notification from UEFA that its flagship participation programme for primary school children, the Tesco Bank Football Challenge, has been awarded silver in the 2012 UEFA Grassroots Day Awards ‘Best Project’ Category.

The Tesco Bank Football Challenge is a four-year community programme run in partnership with the Scottish FA.

The project introduces football to Primary two and Primary three children (six to eight year olds) across Scotland to help get them engaged in a healthy and active lifestyle. In total Tesco Bank has made a £1m investment in the project.

The programme’s aim is to reach 72,000 boys and girls of all levels and abilities in, at least, 1600 primary schools across Scotland’s 32 local authorities over four years.

The Tesco Bank Football Challenge is the foundation level of the Scottish FA’s Development Plan. 

It is based on the four-a side “Desire to Play” programme, and is designed to develop social skills, health and fitness, camaraderie, and the development of general physical literacy skills.

More than 36,000 children across Scotland have been involved in the Tesco Bank Football Challenge in the first two years of the programme which sees children receive in-school coaching before attending a regional cluster festival.

In May over 300 children were invited to a national festival of football and fun at Hampden Park, the second such event held.

Jim Fleeting, Scottish FA Director of Football Development, said: “To receive this recognition from European football’s governing body is absolutely fantastic.

"The partnership between the Scottish FA and Tesco Bank through the Football Challenge is an integral part of our grassroots development and a key driver in enabling us to deliver our Strong Quality Growth objective of doubling the number of participants in the recreational game.

“The Tesco Bank Football Challenge is a great way to involve young people in the national sport in communities across Scotland and a fantastic way to promote healthy living at a key age group.”

Sport Minister Shona Robison MSP said:

“Football plays such an important role in our communities and I am delighted that this award recognises Scottish FA and Tesco Bank efforts to involve children in football.

"It’s well known that exercise is a long-term investment in health, so the more children that can be encouraged from an early age to be physically active - and aim to be our football stars of the future - the more likely they are to maintain that pattern and live a healthy, happy life.”

Adele Mills, community investment manager, Tesco Bank added: “I’d like to congratulate the Scottish FA on this award from UEFA.

"The Tesco Bank Football Challenge has proved to be one of the most successful football participation projects, providing children across the country with the opportunity to enjoy activity designed to promote a healthy lifestyle.

"We are very proud of the programme and believe it meets a fundamental need to give young people a unique and worthwhile football experience while encouraging them to participate more regularly in sport. “

The Scottish FA is currently collating complete participation statistics for year two of the programme with these expected to be available in August.