Gala Fairydean Rovers Academy based in the borders town of Galashiels recently received a £500 grant from The SFP Trust’s 2020 Club Development Grant scheme. The initiative, funded by the SFP Trust in partnership with The Kilpatrick Fraser Charitable Trust, was developed to assist grassroots clubs in three specific areas – to increase participation by adding a new team to a club’s existing membership; to improve, enhance and sustain existing team activity through the purchase of new training equipment and/or funding First Aid training for coaches or thirdly to support Coach Education.
Commenting on the award which the club used to buy new kit and equipment for their ever-growing girls/women’s section, Chairman Garry Fraser said “Gala Fairydean Rovers Academy would like to thank The SFP Trust and the Kilpatrick Fraser Charitable Trust for awarding us a Club Development Grant. This grant will be invaluable in the sustainability of our girls/woman’s section. This generous donation will enable us to supply quality kit and equipment for this section of the club. We applied for the award following encouragement from the Scottish FA South East Region, in particular Karen McConnell and it will bring a huge benefit to our growing Women’s and Girls section here at Gala Fairydean Rovers. We have enjoyed an unprecedented increase in numbers of particularly younger female players since we returned to training following the easing of the most stringent Covid lockdown procedures. As a report commissioned by UEFA in 2017, authored by Dr Paul Appleton from the School of Sport, Exercise, and Rehabilitation Science at University of Birmingham states “…it was found that teenage girls who play football feel more confident than those girls who play no sport at all. Most strikingly though, they feel more confident than those girls who choose to play other sports. At an age when self-esteem can be at its most fragile, football has now been proven to provide a powerful boost in confidence. Being part of a football team gives girls a strong sense of self-esteem, helps them to overcome anxiety, makes them feel less self-conscious, and crucially, empowers them with the confidence to reach their goals.” These facts are even more relevant now following the long-term closure of education during the Spring and Summer allied to lockdown restrictions that have had a detrimental impact on young people. This money allows us to ensure the ongoing sustainability of our women’s and girls’ section.”