Scotland joined in today's Europe-wide celebrations as part of UEFA Grassroots Day 2012.
All across the continent, national associations organised football activities as part of the build-up to the Champions League Final in Munich on Saturday.
In Edinburgh, local primary school children descended on Festival Square to take part in an array of activities, including Street Football.
In attendance was the Scottish Government Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, whose CashBack For Communities initiative helps fund the Scottish FA's Street Football and Equity programmes. He said: “The Scottish Government is a committed supporter of Scottish football and recognises the powerful positive influence our national game can have throughout Scotland.
“Clubs already carry out invaluable work in communities across the country and we want to build on these partnerships.”
Lending a hand with coaching sessions in the square were former Hibs and Hearts players Keith Wright and Jimmy Sandison. Keith said: “UEFA Grassroots Day is a special day to raise awareness of the importance of football for young people.
“Today there are so many distractions like video games and TV which keeps kids inside.
“But if there is fun, open and accessible football opportunities, we can increase the number of people playing the game and, in turn, see the health benefits to the country.”
Jimmy added: “It’s great to see the kids enjoying themselves here. When I was young, I was outside playing all the time and think it has kept me healthy."
"Football should be fun to play and available to everyone." Scottish FA President Campbell Ogilvie was also at the event. He said: “UEFA Grassroots Day is a fantastic celebration of all the fine work being done across Europe.
“In Scotland, the Scottish FA works tirelessly to provide opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to play the game.
“Football has many off-field benefits which should be nurtured and developed and today is recognition of its importance.”
In Dalgety Bay, Fife, local schools celebrated UEFA Grassroots Day as they took part in CashBack 7s regional finals. CashBack 7s is a Scottish Schools FA (SSFA) and Scottish FA competition involving over 170 schools across Scotland. Donald Gillies, the Scottish FA’s project manager for the Cashback in Communities scheme, said: “We are delighted this event has coincided with UEFA Grassroots Day as it has provided the opportunity to highlight the success of this particular project.
“Football should be fun, open and accessible to all and through the CashBack 7s tournament, thousands of school children will benefit.”
Scottish FA regional manager for the east of Scotland Ian Lowe added: “Today has been a tremendous success and it is fantastic to see the pupils enjoying themselves.
“This event is what grassroots is all about and to be part of UEFA Grassroots Day has made today extra special.”
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