Today over 160 young people from across the North of Scotland participated in the annual Bank of Scotland Midnightleague Regional Final at Strikers Indoor Football Centre in Aberdeen.
The young players involved also had a special treat as Aberdeen FC players Scott Severin and Lee Mair were in attendance to meet the finalists and present the medals and trophies to the eventual winners. Lewis MacDonald MSP for Aberdeen Central, also attended to help with the presentations.
The Regional Final was the culmination of this year’s Bank of Scotland Midnightleague programme which has been running at over 20 sports centres across the North and North East of Scotland since January. Teams from Aberdeen, Wick, Inverness, Dingwall, Forres, Inverurie, Moray and Angus were all represented at the tournament which was played across two age-groups – 12-13 years and 14 years and over. The eventual winners of the 12-13 years tournament were ‘Angus Juniors’ while the 14 years and over title was taken by ‘Team Doug’ of Aberdeen.
Bank of Scotland Midnightleague is a national network of diversionary 5-a-side football activity running in partnership with the Scottish FA from January to June, targeting disengaged youths (12 to 16 years). Building on the existing Midnightleague programme, that has expanded over the last 4 years to be established in all 32 Scottish local authorities; in 2009 nearly 10,000 kids will participate in football activity at over 90 local community venues.
Scott Severin, Aberdeen FC captain, was full of praise for the young participants commenting “It is great to see such a worthwhile initiative freely available to young people across the area. All the players really seem to enjoy themselves too and the coaches are doing a great job.”
Sarah Cran, Head of Sponsorship for Bank of Scotland, commented “Congratulations to both winners and all the teams for reaching the regional final in Aberdeen. Our Midnightleague was launched as a pilot scheme in 2003 and it has been a great success across Scotland.''