The Kilpatrick Fraser Charitable Trust has been supporting our Club Development Grant scheme for 4 years now, but it is fair to say that in 2021 their investment has been even more crucial than ever as grassroots clubs and organisations strived to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. An incredible 60 Scottish FA Quality-Marked clubs from all across Scotland were each awarded a grant of £500 which helped put the game back on course after months of lockdown when no football was being played. Every single one of these clubs and their volunteers work incredibly hard to support young players in their local communities and this investment has allowed them to boost and grow participation for young people when they needed it most.
Grants are awarded to help clubs increase participation numbers, sustain existing activity and help with the development of volunteers. This year, there was a particular focus on encouraging the growth of the girls’ game in Scotland. UEFA are aiming to double girls’ and women’s participation in football across Europe by 2024 and we are delighted, through our Club Development scheme, to help clubs work towards this goal and have more girls out on the pitch enjoying the game.
Another core area for funding has centred on Coach Education for the many volunteers who give up their time freely to coach and nurture young people from across Scotland. These volunteers contribute so much to the game at grassroots level and improving the quality of coaching is paramount to growing and sustaining participation in our sport.
Grants this year have also allowed clubs to grow the scale and diversity of the game – from providing football for Over-35s to opportunities for deaf and autistic children to participate in football through specialised para-coaching, ensuring that football is available for all those who want to become involved.
All of this has been possible thanks to the generous support of The Kilpatrick Fraser Charitable Trust.
Here are some of the key performance statistics from this year’s initiative;
√ 55 new teams created : 26 girls’ teams; 7 boys’ teams; 20 mixed teams; 2 men’s teams
√ 1,080 new players brought into the game, 723 of which were girls.
√ 40 clubs benefitted from enhanced training kit and equipment supporting activity for 1,117 players, with 5 purchasing small-sided goals for their younger age-groups.
√ 124 club volunteers supported through coach education, which included goalkeeping coaching, para-coaching and specialist coaching for autistic children.
√ 43 club volunteers supported through First Aid training helping to safeguard the welfare of players at 9 clubs.
√ 2 clubs created new recreational football teams for men to address issues of mental health and isolation.
√ 4 clubs invested in new para teams ranging from supporting deaf children, children with autism and those with additional needs.
√ 1 club piloted a Friday night football initiative to help tackle anti-social behaviour for young adults aged 14 to 16.