The Scottish FA’s regional offices co-ordinate the association’s vast array of football programmes at a grassroots level.
Working behind the scenes are office and event co-ordinators whose responsibility it is to successfully organise these programmes.
In the South West region is Scott Morrison.
A graduate of Sports Development from the University of the West of Scotland, Scott covers a region which includes Dumfries and Galloway, North Ayrshire, East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire and South Lanarkshire.
Describing the programmes he plays a key role in organising, Scott said: “The last academic year was the first year of our Further Education Coach Development Programme (FECDP).
“We took on 10 students who worked beside Scottish FA Regional staff or a local football development officer to help support the overall delivery of the Scottish FA South West Regional Plan.”
The FECDP has been one of the South West’s biggest successes in recent times.
“The Scottish FA South West Region believe that by providing a vocational experience to compliment the students existing academic background that they will be in a better position to gain full time employment,” added Scott.
“The event will be re-launched around September or October this year with the support of the local colleges and universities.”
Positive community relationships are vital for a regional office to operate and in the South West, Scott said, a healthy rapport has been nurtured over many years.
“I would like to believe that the South West has a very strong relationship with all our clubs, volunteers and delivery partners throughout the region.,” he explained.
“This has been to the credit of the staff who has worked as part of the South West many of which whom were here before I started with the association.
“The staff are always happy to go that extra mile to help a club or individual to grow and aspire to whichever level they wish to achieve in football.”
And for Scott, the grassroots scene in the South West is flourishing.
He said: “Since I started nearly a year and a half ago the number of teams at the youngest ages seems to be growing and growing which can only be good for the future.
“With this we have seen a definite increase in coach education attendees across all levels. With more players being coached by better educated coaches it can only be good for our game.”
A particular programme which Scott is looking forward to seeing develop over the next 12 months is the Positive Coaching Scotland (PCS) project.
PCS is an ideology which aims to create a more positive footballing environment for children to play within.
“This will be a big one in the South West as we roll out the programme,” Scott said.
“This will see regional staff and development officers visit clubs to teach parents and coaches about positive touchline behaviour.
“It is an exciting project which could make a fantastic impact on the football scene.”
Club support is an area where the Scottish FA puts significant resources into.
Its Quality Mark programme – which assists clubs in reaching various levels of structure – has helped numerous clubs throughout the South West.
He said: “The Growing the Game Initiative of the Scottish FA, which the Quality Mark programme falls under, makes it an exciting time for club development.
“All current Quality Mark Clubs were encouraged to apply for seed funding of up to £6000.
“This money will be used to encourage clubs to increase their infrastructure and to expand their membership.
“The clubs who applied for this fund came up with a number of ideas and projects which they will go away and work on with the support of the regions staff.
“There is great work being done by the Scottish FA at grassroots level.”
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