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The Scottish FA has appointed a team of Football Equity Officers whose role it is to help increase the number of people from Ethnic Minority communities taking part in coaching, volunteering and playing football.

Working in this role in the Scottish FA’s South East region is Jennifer Malone.

Jennifer, from Edinburgh, began coaching under the mentorship of Hibernian legend Keith Wright who gave her the opportunity to work as a community coach in West Lothian after she had completed a marketing and sports studies degree.

She started playing women’s football aged 24 for Tynecastle before joining Hutchison Vale.

“I have been involved in football all my life and know the benefits that can come from being involved in the game,” Jennifer said.

“This role as a Football Equity Officer is very well suited to my belief that football can be a positive force for all.

“There are many different cultures and communities within the South East Region but one thing that has been clear to me is that football is a shared interest and love. It gives us the opportunity not only to celebrate our differences but to recognise what we have in common.”

Jennifer said she was relishing the opportunity to work on a project which was the first of its kind in the Scottish FA.

She added: “Every day there are new challenges and working towards overcoming those challenges and barriers is really rewarding.

“We are aiming to remove barriers by engaging with Ethnic Minority communities and are evolving our grassroots football programmes to better suit the needs of everyone.”

Since the officers’ appointment in April 2012, work has been carried out aimed at establishing working relationships with BME groups and understanding where the barriers are preventing participation in football.

This has culminated in the Scottish FA’s first Football Equity Strategy which sets out how the Association will increase the number of people from Ethnic Minorities involved in football.

Click here to view the strategy.

Jennifer said: “We are now in a position to establish links within clubs which could result in us bridging the gap between those playing football recreationally and those playing football in grassroots clubs.”

You can contact Jennifer on  0131 667 8242/ 07534 062 532 or email: