The Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Kenny MacAskill MSP, visited Brechin High School today to witness first-hand the essential role that Cashback for Communities plays in advancing women’s and girls’ football in Scotland.
The Cabinet Secretary joined the women's national coach, Anna Signeul, and Sheila Begbie, head of girls' and women's football, as 70 S1 and S2 pupils were put through their paces in front of the six new Scottish FA Girls'/ Women's Football Development Officers.
The creation of these six new posts was made possible thanks to support from Cashback for Communities. These officers will be responsible for increasing the number of registered players in the game by 1500 players per year and help to develop girls and women’s football in Scotland. Previous investment through CashBack has supported the Scottish FA to work with the Elite women’s clubs (Premier League) to increase the amount of training from twice per week to four or five times per week and, in some cases, 10 times per week.
Another previous recipient of CashBack investment into the women’s game was Glasgow City who recently progressed to the final 16 of the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
Commenting, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said:
“Women’s football is going from strength to strength in Scotland. The recent successes and achievements in the game have been outstanding. With ever increasing numbers of girls taking up football, the appointment of six new club development officers will attract more registered players to the game, giving them the opportunity to participate in our favourite sport for longer.
“This has been made possible thanks to Scottish Government CashBack for Communities funding, a programme that makes crime pay by seizing crooks cash and investing it in the young people of Scotland through an ever growing series of sports and cultural diversionary and personal development activities.”
Sheila Begbie, Head of Girls'/Women's Football, added:
“More and more girls are playing football in Scotland however the majority are not playing within the formal football structure as whilst there are 27,000 girls playing football, there are only 2500 registered players playing within clubs.”
“These six new development officers will be charged with increasing the number of registered players in the game by 1500 players per annum. They will also work to support the development of the structure and infrastructure of the existing clubs to ensure we support the integration of some of these new players and to establish new clubs where existing clubs are at capacity or there are no clubs in the local area.”
Information on six new officers:
Sam Milne – Club Development Officer for Girls’/Women’s Football – East Region
Finella Annand - Club Development Officer for Girls’/Women’s Football – North Region
Michael McPake - Club Development Officer for Girls’/Women’s Football – Central Region
Shirley Martin - Club Development Officer for Girls’/Women’s Football – South West Region
Karen McConnell - Club Development Officer for Girls’/Women’s Football – South East Region
Corrie Campbell - Club Development Officer for Girls’/Women’s Football – West Region