Blantyre Soccer Academy has been awarded the Legacy Level Quality Mark Award by the Scottish FA.
Quality Mark, run by the Scottish FA in partnership with McDonald’s and sportscotland, is the Association’s accreditation programme designed to support and recognise the work of grassroots clubs who have a desire to be the very best they can be.
There are five levels - Entry, Standard, Development, Community and Legacy – all related to a list of criteria on areas such as club structure, coach education and administration.
BSA Chairman Jimmy Whelan said: "This is a fantastic achievement for our club in such a short space of time. Receiving this award gives recognition to all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes at the Academy by our dedicated group of volunteer coaches and staff.’’
Legacy Level is the highest accolade which can be bestowed upon a club through the QM programme and is the latest in a string of prizes won by BSA after they became the first football club to win the SLC Gold Award and were named the 2013/14 Hamilton Sports Council Disability Club of the Year.
Whelan, winner of the 2013 McDonald’s Community Champion award, added:
"’It shows the very high standards we set for every aspect of what we do; coaching, facilities, child protection, personal development, community engagement, social cohesion and getting the balance fun, learning and winning.
"We are more than a Soccer Academy, we are an institution within the community.’’
Founded in 2010, BSA now has over 280 3-12 year olds involved in regular activity and also boasts teams in girls, youth, disability and adult football - all led by a team of over 60 PVG checked coaches.
7000 players and spectators, from all over Scotland, participated in BSA’s 3rd annual Reamonn Gormley Memorial Soccer Festival earlier this month, helping to raise thousands of pounds for the Good Child Foundation in Thailand.
Off the pitch, the club are now a registered charity, with a fully elected committee and have opened their own BSA office where their grant funded, full-time administrator is now based.
Graeme Mathie, Scottish FA Club Development Manager (South West), praised BSA for their work:
"I am delighted that Blantyre Soccer Academy has been awarded Legacy Level Quality Mark.
"They are a model club that have worked incredibly hard to put a structure in place which has allowed them to develop a plan for coaching, finances, community work, and facilities.
"BSA are a club who not only provide a great football experience for all their playing members and families, but who also continue to develop new and innovative ways of engaging with their local community and we are looking forward to recognising their achievements at the Quality Mark awards night later this year."
For more information on the Scottish FA Quality Mark programme click here.