On Thursday 9th June, over 220 young footballers from across the south east of Scotland participated in the fourth and final Bank of Scotland Midnight League Regional Final of the season at the Falkirk Stadium, home of Falkirk FC.
The Regional Final was a culmination of this year’s Bank of Scotland Midnight League programme which has been running since January in communities across all 32 Local Authorities in Scotland. The Scottish FA introduced the new ‘Community Captains’ initiative to the programme this year. Each team was nominated a Community Captain to provide more responsibility by organising their squad’s attendance, encouraging good behaviours and promoting the sessions on a weekly basis and, as such, over 28 teams attended the South-East Midnight League Regional Final thanks to the Community Captains.
Falkirk FC stalwart Mark Kerr attended the Bank of Scotland Midnight League Regional Final to present the medals and trophies and pass on some words of wisdom to the Community Captains.
Kerr said: “I am honoured to support the Bank of Scotland Midnight League programme. It all began here for me as a youngster at Falkirk Football Club so to see over 220 young male and female footballers grace the hallowed turf is outstanding and credit must go to the Bank of Scotland for sponsoring the programme and Falkirk FC for hosting the event. It is clear to see the joy and happiness each player gets from Midnight Leagues. Allowing hundreds of youngsters on a weekly basis to play free football in a safe environment must have a positive effort on local communities across Scotland.”
Gary McGregor, Head of Operations, Scottish Widows Bank, part of Lloyds Banking Group attended the South-East Regional Final and said: “Well done to all 28 teams on reaching the South East Final at the Falkirk Stadium. The children couldn’t believe their eyes having Mark Kerr here today and we cannot thank him enough for his ongoing support of the Midnight League programme.
"Bank of Scotland is extremely proud of its 13 year association with the Midnight League and the positive effect it has in communities across the country. It’s one of the Bank’s key programmes that further delivers upon its commitment to help Scotland prosper. We are delighted at the success of our four Regional Finals at Broadwood, Banks O’Dee, Somerset Park and Falkirk FC. Also a big thank you much to go all the Community Captains and players involved at all the Finals.”
Also a huge supporter of Midnight League are CashBack for Communities. CashBack is a Scottish Government programme which takes funds recovered from the proceeds of crime and invests them into free activities and programmes for young people across Scotland.
In addition to governing the game, the Scottish FA is responsible for the continued growth and development of the grassroots aspects of the sport by supporting players, coaches, volunteers and referees.
CashBack for Communities has supported the Scottish FA since 2008 to deliver a wide range of activities for young people in their communities. This has included the roll out of the Schools of Football concept and also the Midnight League Project.
Find your local Midnight League session on www.scottishfa.co.uk/midnightleague
If you aspire to become a Community Captain, you’ll get all of the information you need when you sign up to take part.