The Scottish Football Partnership has made an award of £40,000 to Disability Sport Scotland’s National Football Disability programme. The award of £10,000 per annum for the next 4 years will assist to further develop and expand the current set-up and the level of training and game time that can be offered to athletes who have a disability. David McArdle from the Scottish FA said “The contribution which has been made by the Football Partnership has already had a positive effect on our programme. The extra funding has allowed our under 19 learning difficulty squad players to have a greater opportunity to fulfil their potential as they are now part of a National Development Structure in which they receive high quality coaching and have a pathway into the full squad. In the past we would select players for the Home Nations Championships after the trial process. This would mean that talented players who do not perform on the day or younger players who struggle to compete against older players could miss out on the opportunity to represent their Country. Thanks to the funding our coaches now have the time and resources to nurture the players who are showing potential and to assist them to develop their abilities further. The funding has already showed success with the Learning Disability Squad winning the Home Nations Championships in 2013 and they are currently preparing for the 2014 Home Nations Championship in Dublin. The Cerebral Palsy / Stroke / Acquired Brain Injury squad has also benefitted from the support. The squad currently ranked 6th in the World has been able to up the contact time they have with coaches by training longer during monthly National Training days. The squad has also been able to invest in specialised fitness equipment to allow the players to further develop away from training and attempt to move onto the next level and compete with the World’s best. Once again the squad has seen immediate success with the Squad qualifying for the 2015 World Cup due to their success in the 2013 Intercontinental Championships and are currently preparing for the 2014 European Championships in Portugal. The funding from the Scottish Football Partnership has been invaluable to allow the squads to develop and compete on the World Stage and allow the players to prepare better for the challenges ahead”.