Scotland international Shannon Lynn has hailed the Scottish FA’s Tesco Bank Football Challenge programme as a “fantastic way for children to be introduced to football”.
Speaking at a Tesco Bank festival at the home of Broxburn United – which saw over 150 primary school children attend – the Hibernian goalkeeper said: “This programme really is a great way for children to open their eyes to the benefits of football.
“I have been playing since I was three and feel the game has taught me so many skills.
“I have made friends, learned social skills and learned the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.”
The Tesco Bank programme follows the principles of the Scottish FA’s National Player Pathway, which starts with small-sided games and grows with the child, using the most appropriate format for their age and stage of development.
4-a-side football is played at this stage.
Delivered by Scottish FA coaches, the programme provides free activity sessions at primary schools alongside local festivals and events.
Karen McConnell, Scottish FA club development officer for girls’ and women’s football in the South East region, said she believed the programme was offering football opportunities to girls which would otherwise not be there.
“With the programme, we are able to introduce football to girls aged seven who have probably never played football before,” she said.
Health benefits are a key area of the programme which Karen said was an important aspect of football.
“The holistic benefits are in abudance with football,” she added.
“Healthy eating and hydration are vital for healthy living and I think the Tesco Bank Football Challenge promotes and educates this very well.”