A funding award from The Scottish Football Partnership Trust to Bathgate Thistle Community F.C. has helped the club with the purchase of a storage container and one set of portable 7-v-7 and one set of portable 11-v-11 goals.
This fantastic Gold Quality-Mark club from the south-east region provide activity for over 500 players, including 150 girls and this new equipment will help develop the goal-scoring skills of their youngest players through to those playing in 11-v-11 matches. Through the incredible dedication of their volunteer coaches, this club has seen a growth in the number of local youngsters wanting to play football, particularly young girls. The club started with only 18 girls in an Under-9 age group but with sheer hard work and a commitment to growing the female pathway, this number has increased exponentially to 150 players in only 12 months which is a fantastic achievement.
The club train and play their matches at Balbardie Park and Meadow Park and the new storage container will safely store all the club’s equipment for their players. Paul Marr, the club’s Vice-Chairman thanked the SFP Trust for this award and commented “We have taken our time to be sure that every aspect of the investment truly fitted the needs of our expanding club and delivered the best value for money for both the SFPT and our members. This investment has played a huge part in allowing us to install a brand new 7s grass pitch for our girls teams progressing through the player pathway. This new pitch has already hosted a number of girls U12 sessions and games and will ensure we can provide facilities for three new U10 teams. The purchase of new, foldable goals has been a huge improvement on the broken and dangerous square posts that are being removed by the council and well received by our teams and visiting teams – which would have been impossible without the new larger container. An unexpected benefit of the new container purchased to store the portable 11s goals is this is larger and can easily store a ride-on mower. Other unexpected opportunities have been presented as a result of our continued investment in the club and community such as the partnership with a local first aid provider to co-fund and install a defibrillator in the location of the new 7s pitch as well as the opportunity to look at an asset transfer of the sports pavilion in the area. All in all – a huge step forward for our club and for the facilities available to us. Loads of immediate benefits for our players and volunteers but also lots of opportunity created our for future expansion. Thank you from everyone at Bathgate Thistle Community Football Club.”