On Wednesday 25th March, S1 pupils from Falkirk High School had an extra special Bank of Scotland Soccer One session when their after school training at Forthbank Stadium was visited by Falkirk FC player, and Scotland under 21 international, Mark Stewart.

Mark, still on a high after scoring in Falkirk’s 4-0 win over Inverness last Saturday, met with pupils and coaches as they took part in their weekly training session.

Bank of Scotland Soccer One is a national network of football activity running in participating High Schools from August to June. Run in partnership with the Scottish FA, the programme aims to create new football teams in schools for boys and girls, regardless of ability. In the past two years, Bank of Scotland Soccer One has helped create over 400 new boys and girls school football teams, with free coaching and games for thousands of young people who would previously not have had the chance to play. The programme has proved so successful that for this season, 2008/2009, it has expanded to all 32 local authorities in Scotland a year ahead of schedule. Over 300 schools are currently participating reaching 8,800 young people.

In addition, and to assist with the development of coaches and volunteers, the programme has provided support to over 900 volunteers via access to Scottish FA coach education courses, in-service sessions and the provision of coaching curriculums and other resources.

On his first-hand experience of Bank of Scotland Soccer One in action Mark Stewart, said “It is fantastic to see an after-school programme like Bank of Scotland Soccer One running in schools in our local area. I enjoyed watching the team train and was impressed by the organisation and support provided by the coaches.”