Today, Hearts and Scotland goalkeeper Jack Hamilton returned to his former primary school, Nethermains. in Denny, to mark the start of the 2016/17 Tesco Bank Football Challenge.

The former pupil met primary two and three children as they enjoyed a training session with Scottish FA coaches. The pupils also had a chance to take a shot on goal against the Jambos’ No1. 

The Tesco Bank Football Challenge is a five-year community programme run in partnership with the Scottish FA. The project introduces 20,000 children to football in primary two and three (six to eight years old) across Scotland to help get them engaged in a healthy and active lifestyle. 

More than 120,000 children across 2200 schools in Scotland have now engaged with the country’s leading football participation programme. Teachers and volunteers continue to enjoy the Scottish FA’s in-service programme with more than 7500 now trained to support the growth of football in schools.

Jack Hamilton said: “It was great to visit my old school today and see that they are so engaged in the Tesco Bank Football Challenge. Running about, playing football with my pals here was where my love of football began and hopefully this visit shows the kids where that can get you. At their age, the most important thing is having fun with football and instilling the importance of a healthy and active life.” 

Jim Fleeting, Scottish FA Director of Football Development commented: “A big part of the Tesco Bank Football Challenge is showing children the positives that come with a healthy and active lifestyle, and it’s fantastic that Jack Hamilton was able to visit the children and demonstrate this today. It’s vital for us to promote the importance of keeping fit and healthy from a young age and our coaches work incredibly hard to do this.”

Adele Mills, Senior Community Investment Manager at Tesco Bank, added: “Our Community Programme encourages children to develop positive, lifelong habits and have fun whilst doing so we’re delighted that the Tesco Bank Football Challenge could bring Jack back to his primary school to see the children taking part. We’re committed to spreading this message across the country and look forward to involving more children in the programme over the next two years.”