Winter weather won't dampen spirits at a Scottish FA supported community club in Dundee after it opened its new 3G pitch yesterday.
Dundee East Community Sports Club (DECSC), based at Whitton Park, incorporates 30 football teams under their banner.
DECSC has also encompassed Forthill Sports Club who have racket sports, rugby and cricket clubs.
The Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities programme, which takes funds recovered from the proceeds of crime and invests them into free activities and programmes for young people across Scotland, allocated £160,000 for the new pitch.
The Scottish Football Partnership also awarded £40,000.
Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, Shona Robison, attended the opening.
She said: “CashBack has played a part in inspiring young people across the country to participate in sport, and will continue to do so to build a lasting legacy.
"Developing young people’s interests and skills helps them to gain confidence and it’s rewarding to note that this can be achieved through funding seized from acts of crime.”
Secretary of DECSC Hugh Jamieson said: “I am very pleased at how this project developed from the start.
"There was a need to improve facilities in the area but there was also a feeling that clubs were in competition with each other for the scarce resources that were available.
“By coming together in the way we have, we have shown how clubs can combine to make a difference.
"This is only the start. The next stage is to define what Phase 2 will look like and when it will happen.”
Scottish FA Chief Executive Stewart Regan, who was in attendance at the opening, said: “This is a great day for DECSC.
“The CashBack funded project is a good example of a community football club taking a leading role in delivering a top-class facility for the benefit of all.
“Good facilities are vital for football to develop in Scotland.
“This 3G pitch will mean year-round training will be available to teams.”
The Scottish FA’s East Regional Manager Ian Lowe said the upgrade for DECSC would enable the club to become a focal point in the surrounding area for football activity.
“DECSC is quite a unique set-up,” he added.
“The umbrella organisation allows for partnerships amongst the member clubs, the sharing of resources and a player pathway that allows for participation from age six through to adulthood.
“The partnership has also resulted in the group being in better position to apply for funding whilst also making it attractive to recruit volunteers and players into the member clubs.
“The club is a community sports hub that provides an excellent service to their community and Dundee in general.
“The project would not have happen if not for the work of the many volunteers at the club spearheaded excellently by Gordon Deuchars and Peter Ryder.”
The Scottish FA’s recently appointed Facilities Manager Cameron Watt said: “The DECSC CashBack project is a great example of a community football club taking a lead role in delivering a quality facility that can be utilised by all the sports included in the club.
“If these clubs can assist in delivering facilities that support both the development of football and also a wider range of sports, as is the case at DECSC, then that is surely a fantastic thing for everyone involved, whether player, athlete, coach or volunteer.
“It's important to remember that this type of project can also make a significant contribution to the 'active nation' agenda and the Scottish FA is delighted to be able to play it's part in this by supporting clubs with their facility-related aspirations.”