The Scottish FA has announced a new partnership with Lidl UK to increase football participation opportunities for children across the country.
The family supermarket has become an official grassroots partner of the Scottish FA, official supplier of selected products to the Scottish FA, and title sponsor of the Lidl Skills Centres.
Hundreds of Lidl Skills Centres, run in partnership with local authorities and senior clubs all over Scotland, will provide opportunities for boys and girls aged five to 12 - of all abilities - to enjoy the game in fun, friendly and safe environments.
Sign up to find out more about a Lidl Skills Centre near you at http://grassroots.scottishfa.co.uk/skillscentres
The nationwide network will also incorporate the 12 current Scottish FA 2020 Development Centres (rebranded as Lidl Advanced Skills Centres), which provide the link between grassroots and the elite game.
The network will also include a number of girls-only Lidl Skills Centres.
The three-year deal will see the creation of new resources and an exciting curriculum across the Lidl Skills Centres to inspire boys and girls to play and practice more. This will also be linked to extensive development work with all coaches involved in the delivery of the programme.
As part of its investment in the grassroots game, Lidl will also become lead grassroots partner of The Football Association and The Football Association of Wales.
Jim Fleeting, Scottish FA Director of Football Development said: “Grassroots football in Scotland will benefit from this exciting partnership with Lidl and we are grateful for their support. The Scottish FA’s community scheme will deliver a wide range of participation initiatives, including equality, diversity and inclusion, through our network of partners. These areas will be enhanced greatly and we look forward to working in partnership with Lidl to achieve the collective objective of increasing football participation across Scotland.”
Ryan McDonnell, Lidl UK Purchasing Director said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Lidl and one that we are both excited and extremely proud to be a part of. We look forward to building successful partnerships with the Scottish, English and Welsh FAs in developing the sport at both national and community levels.”
The nationwide network of Lidl Skills Centres brings together work currently going on across the country, creating new opportunities and exciting new programmes to allow children of all abilities to nurture their love of the game, under the supervision of qualified Scottish FA coaches.
There are currently 12 Lidl Advanced Skills Centres (formerly 2020 Development Centres), from Ayr to Inverness, designed to help players in primary five, six and seven to achieve their full potential.
Along with professional clubs, players are selected from across the non-professional game to take part in weekly specialised training sessions over a 36 week period.
In addition to training sessions, players receive a homework programme of creative player activities, twice yearly player assessments, individual practices to develop their strengths and improve weaknesses and educational presentations on diet and nutrition and speed development.