Newlands Community Football Club has been recognised for their valuable contribution to grassroots football.

David Black and David Graham from the Newlands CFC in Bathgate, West Lothian were presented with the Scottish FA Quality Mark Standard Award before a training session at St Mary’s Primary school in Bathgate by Scottish FA Football Development Officer Jim Grant and Regional Club Development Manager David Drummond.

The Award, part of the Quality Mark Accreditation Scheme run by the Scottish FA in partnership with McDonald’s, recognises proactive clubs and schools working to increase youth and community participation.

Clubs and schools receive the award after meeting standards in areas such as coach and player development, management, administration, player welfare and development planning.

Newlands Community Football Club was founded in 2002 and has since recognised the need to develop the club and the players at a grassroots level.  In 2007 Newlands Started a soccer school aimed at developing players from and an early age.  The Club has two soccer 7’s teams, three age groups in the soccer school and also run a U16 team with a total of over 90 young players involved with the club.

David Black, Club Chairman said: “We are delighted to be recognised for the work we do here in Bathgate and within West Lothian.  Achieving the standard quality mark is a step in the right direction in helping the club grow and none of this would have been possible if people had not volunteered to help, so a big thank you and well done to everyone at the Club.  The next target to achieve is for the club to keep growing, improving the service we offer young footballers in Bathgate and working with the Scottish FA on achieving "Development Club" status.

Regional Club Development Manager David Drummond said: “It is very pleasing to have helped Newlands CFC towards this award.  The standard of organisation at the club is first rate and with the 2 David’s heading things up and looking after the gathering of Quality Mark evidence, football in the town is in good hands!  I would like to offer the Scottish FA’s hearty congratulations to the entire club, from the Committee down to every young player who has represented the club.”

Jim Grant commented further by saying “I’m delighted that Newlands CFC has achieved this award.  They have shown in recent years to be committed to developing young players and offer an excellent opportunity into children’s and youth football.  We now have almost half our Clubs in West Lothian through this award so I’m delighted with the commitment by the Coaches and volunteers here and across the County to raise the standards at our youth football clubs.”

The Club are also working with the Scottish FA on a new initiative where they will deliver 6 weeks of curriculum time coaching sessions in 4 local primary schools and then provide a pathway for children to attend a “Come and try” coaching session at the Club.

David Graham, Club Development Officer for Newlands CFC said “This new development is a really exciting programme to be involved with and by being involved with Quality Mark, we have obviously shown the Scottish FA our commitment and enthusiasm to offer children in Bathgate an opportunity into football.  The programme will hopefully result in more kids taking up an active lifestyle and having lots of fun playing football.”

There are three Quality Mark categories - Standard, Development, and Community. So far almost 200 clubs and schools have achieved accreditation over the three categories, and over 8,000 coaches have benefited from coach education and first aid training.

McDonald’s, official partner of the Scottish FA Quality Mark Accreditation Scheme, will invest £100,000 in the scheme over three years as part of its ongoing commitment to grassroots football in Scotland. The scheme is part of McDonald’s long-standing partnership with the Scottish FA, which has also helped to create over 1,400 community coaches across Scotland since 2002.

Through the scheme, McDonald’s and the Scottish FA aim to provide support to grassroots clubs and schools across Scotland as they strive to broaden youth and community participation and to enhance player, coach and volunteer development. 

The Quality Mark scheme is supported by the Big Lottery Fund, which contributes to the employment of all Scottish FA club development staff, as well as discounted coach education and first aid courses for grassroots volunteers. The Big Lottery Fund is a key Scottish FA partner, contributing £6m to the delivery of the Scottish FA Youth Action Plan.

For further information on the Scottish FA Quality Mark programme, please visit www.scottishfa.co.uk/footballdevelopment