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The new football equity officer for the Scottish FA’s East and North regional teams is gearing up for putting miles on the clock in his new role.
Lukasz Rusin (31), who is originally from Poland but has lived in Scotland since 2005, has joined the Association’s football equity team and will cover an area which stretches from Perth to the Shetlands, including Tayside, Fife, Angus and the Highlands.
He’s the latest addition to a team formed in April last year who have since been carrying out groundbreaking work across Scotland to increase football opportunities for the nation’s diverse cultures.
“There’s a lot of travelling to do so my car will be part of my body now,” he said.
“It’s a big area but in terms of population, it’s not like Glasgow or the Central Belt, so it is manageable.
“It’s an exciting new role and I’m relishing the challenge it presents.
“There is a huge number of diverse communities living in the east and north of Scotland and if my role can help them get involved in football, then it will be a very rewarding job.”
The elements to Lukask's role include engaging with community groups to see how the Scottish FA can provide more football programmes better suited to their needs, hosting bespoke football coaching sessions and establishing new participation centres designed for the requirements of specific cultures. To view the Football Equity strategy, click HERE.
Lukask brings with him a wealth of football experience. He was a semi-professional player in Poland where he played for MZKS Chrobry Glogow.
After moving to Scotland, he played with Amatuer teams Haddington and Kincastle, and senior teams Stenhousemuir and Brechin City.
As a person who has arrived in Scotland from another country, Lukask is ideally placed to understand the obstacles people from minority cultures face when trying to get a game of football.
“It’s not easy but there are many ways in Scotland to get playing, coaching or refereeing,” he said.
“I’ll be linking up with groups who represent the diverse cultures in the north and east of Scotland and making them aware of what the Scottish FA can offer them.”
A football group Lucask set up in Edinburgh before his new role, made up of the city’s Polish community, is now working with the Scottish FA’s football equity officer in that area, Jennifer Malone.
They had a team take part in the football equity team’s annual Multicultural Football Festival in Glasgow at Lesser Hampden last month, which they won.
Lucask said he loved living in a country where passion for football was so strong.
“In Poland, football is popular but it is nothing like what we have here in Scotland,” he said.
“There is so much going on here, from grassroots all the way up.
“I’ve been away from Poland for some time but I don’t think there is a football equity project like we have here.”
The Football Equity project is supported by the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities Fund and BEMIS Scotland, a national umbrella organisation working with all ethnic minority communities.
Watch a video explaining the Football Equity Project here.
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