The McDonald's Fun Football programme has enjoyed a successful first half of 2023, with thousands of children attending sessions across the country. 

Over 3500 children registered on the programme, while just under 6000 kids participated in inter-community events that took place all over Scotland.

These events - which returned after being successfully introduced in 2022 - included training sessions around first-team matches, Women's World Cup themed-festivals and family fun days. 

Several clubs also attended Big Kickabout sessions in May as part of the Week of Football. The flagship event took place in George Square, with Scotland Men's National Team Head Coach Steve Clarke in attendance as he announced his squad for the UEFA Euro 2024 qualifiers against Norway and Georgia.

Through these events, clubs in each Scottish FA region were able to provide fun community events for a large number of boys and girls.

Each centre has witnessed an average of 29 attendees - significantly up on the target number of 20, while 27 per cent of the participants were female. 

McDonald’s Fun Football aims to give every child the opportunity to enjoy football for free - regardless of their background, gender or ability. The sessions give children aged 5-11 a fun introduction to football, whether they want to emulate their heroes or make new friends. 

A second wave of events is now under way and those interested in the programmes can find their nearest centre by clicking here.

Paul McNeill, Head of Football Development, Scottish FA: "As we reach the halfway point of 2023, it's incredibly encouraging to reflect on the strong participation numbers across Scotland on our McDonalds Fun Football programmes.

"The average attendees are up on our targets across the board and this is testament to the hard work of Scottish FA coaches and trusted delivery partners across the different regions.

"The return of the inter-community events, after a successful introduction last year, has been well received and I applaud the creativity on show in the wide array of different events put on."

Michelle Graham-Clare, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, of McDonald’s UK and Ireland: “Our Fun Football programme has been at the heart of communities across the country for over 20 years and we are incredibly proud to see the growth in participation year on year.

“The programme, in partnership with the Scottish FA, provides families with the opportunity to access free quality football coaching, available to all 5-11 year-olds up and down Scotland. It is brilliant to see so many smiling faces at the sessions and see how it positively impacts the local communities that benefit from access to it. We look forward to continuing to grow the programme in Scotland, alongside the Scottish FA, for many years to come.”