Welcome to the September edition of Grassroots Cuttings, a snapshot of highlights from the Scottish FA’s Football Development team over the past few months.

Football Saved My Life series launched

The Scottish FA’s new ‘Football Saved My Life’ video series was launched earlier this month, highlighting the ways in which football can be used to overcome personal challenges.

The first video saw Paul McNeill discuss how the grassroots game helped him come to terms with his father’s suicide, with team-mates, opponents and volunteers alike helping him through a challenging time.

Further videos in the series will be released over the remainder of 2018, focusing on a variety of social backgrounds.

For more on the story, click here. 

Schoolchildren learn healthier lifestyles through football

A pioneering project helped 20 young footballers learn about healthy, active lifestyles earlier this summer, as Pollok United hosted the GoFitba programme.

One of twelve Partner Community Clubs to work with GoFitba, the Glasgow side hosted a 12 week programme for local schoolchildren from the surrounding area focusing on physical activity, diet and nutrition.

The programme earned a visit from two Scottish Government ministers, and was hailed as a success from all involved.

Find out more here.

Gretna claim Walking Football Scottish Cup

Over 600 participants descended upon Glasgow Green back in June, as Walking Football Scotland held their annual Walking Football Scottish Cup and Festival.

Gretna FC 2008 emerged victorious, whilst Inverness Caledonian Thistle were presented with the Fair Play Award.

For the first time, a non-competitive event was held alongside the main competition, with celebrity teams from BBC Sportsound and SAMH amongst those taking part.

For a full roundup, click here.

Network Rail football camps keep kids on right track

Young footballers from the ages of 5-14 have been given the opportunity to take part in summer holiday football camps this summer, thanks to the support of Network Rail.

Provided by Scottish FA development officers, the camps mix small-sided technical games with information about the dangers of the railway environment.

Read more here.

Grassroots Awards recognise difference makers

Grassroots heroes across the country are being honoured at the Scottish FA Grassroots Awards Regional ceremonies, with each region recognising the coaches, volunteers and officials that make the grassroots game great in their local area.

Awards have been presented at local ceremonies nationwide, including at the recent Scotland Women’s National team fixture against Switzerland in Paisley, and at Aberdeen’s UEFA Europa League tie against Burnley.

For a list of the winners in your area, click here.

Scottish FA commits to PCS Plus

The Scottish FA has announced the introduction of PCS Plus for Football, which will see a new programme offered to coaches across Scotland.

The programme, which offers five packages – mastery, mindset, confidence, life skills and values -, builds on the Positive Coaching Scotland initiative, which has been in place since 2008.

Workshops for each of the five packages will be taking place across the country in the coming months.

Follow the link for more information.

McDonald’s renew support of grassroots football

McDonald’s, a long standing partner of the grassroots game across Scotland, has announced that it has renewed its partnership with the Scottish FA for a further four years.

A new participation-based programme will be introduced, which aims to provide five million hours of ‘fun football’ for children across the UK by 2022.

This will run in addition to McDonald’s’ existing programmes, which will continue to help support grassroots clubs and volunteers nationwide.

For more, read here.

Para-football coaching course held in Falkirk

Woodlands Games Hall in Falkirk played host to a national para-football coaching course in August, one of three courses running across the country in 2018

The course featured information on para-football terminology, as well as helping to develop coaches’ understanding of working with para-footballers.

Read more here.

Football number one for young girls

There has been a notable increase in the number of girls being encouraged to participate in football, a new survey conducted by SSE has found.

In particular, younger parents are enthusiastic in promoting the game to their daughters, whether through taking part at the grassroots level or going to see a professional match.

Find out more here.

Community clubs benefitting from volunteer mentorship programme.

A pioneering Scottish FA volunteer programme is providing grassroots clubs across Scotland with expertise and input from the business sector.

First launched in 2017, the Teamworks initiative has seen volunteer mentors help grassroots organisations in aspects such as governance and administration as they look to improve their off-pitch presence.

For the full story, click here.

Search for next Youth Ambassadors underway

The Scottish FA has launched the search for their next intake of Youth Ambassadors of Change, a group of young people that will help to shape the future of the game in Scotland.

Twenty of the country’s most passionate young football supporters will be given the chance to be the voice of young people in Scottish football, and will form the Scottish FA’s Youth Congress for the next two years.

Prospective candidates can apply for a position across one of six areas; women’s and girls’ football, Scottish FA regions, project ambassadors, football operations, refereeing and diversity and inclusion.

Find out more here.