An 11-a-side adult’s football festival at Ravenscraig Sports Centre in Motherwell recently aimed to give many ethnic minority players and teams, the first chance to play competitive 11 a side football.

Not only did this allow for a showcase of the players taking part in our Diversity and Inclusion participation centres within the region, but also offered a confidence in understanding the game, and an ability to compete with others at similar and higher levels.

Discussions to coordinate a league or match type friendly games between unaffiliated teams have already started, but are at an early stage so far. The hope is to also role out this pilot to other regions, and initially a plan is in place to roll out a similar event in the South East region.

The hope behind this model is that teams, who play unaffiliated football, gain the knowledge, experience and confidence to play competitive 11 a side football. With the support of the Scottish FA Diversity and Inclusion team, the end game would be that the player pathway in all regions becomes stronger for players of an ethnic minority background to progress and play at whatever level they feel comfortable play at.