The Scottish FA has today launched the Positive Play campaign, an initiative supported by Nationwide Building Society to promote a healthy learning environment across the grassroots game.

The campaign will reward clubs for focussing on effort and respect for young players in the 11-a-side game, as well as the work carried out by coaches, officials and parents alike.

Research from Nationwide shows that the UK is experiencing increased levels of disrespect, with 66 per cent of Brits saying levels have become unacceptable and 71 per cent believing the problem has become worse in the last two years.

With hundreds of thousands involved in football across Scotland every week, the Scottish FA and Nationwide Building Society are committed to making a real difference through the Positive Play campaign, with football playing such an important role in society.

Launched as part of UEFA Grassroots Week, the Positive Play campaign begins just 24 hours after the Give for Grassroots Appeal which is aimed at supporting clubs to continue to provide for children within their communities. As children return to the game, the Scottish FA have focussed on promoting and encouraging a healthy learning environment thanks to support from Britain’s biggest building society.

Head of Football Development Andrew Gould said: “We are delighted to be able to launch the Positive Play campaign today, thanks to support from Nationwide.  

“We visited Dunblane Soccer Club last week ahead of today’s launch and it was encouraging to see young players back enjoying the game. The support from Nationwide for the Positive Play campaign is a welcome boost for youth football at a crucial time.

“It allows us to reward the excellent work of clubs across the country for building a healthy learning environment which encompasses players, coaches, officials and parents in the grassroots game. Our goal of creating that culture is in line with the aims of Nationwide for communities all across Scotland.”

Nationwide’s North Regional Director Garry Samson, who is also the Under-19 coach at Dunblane Soccer Club, believes the Positive Play campaign will go a long way to creating a healthy environment for young players to learn and develop.

He said: “Nationwide were sparked into action after we saw growing levels of abuse in society – something we’re not immune to in our branches and call centres. Our partnership with the Scottish FA allows us to communicate around mutual respect to a different population that we would otherwise be unable to reach.

“It’s not just about trying to improve the positivity levels, I think it’s also a great way of highlighting the amateur football players who are coached at a young age and grow in to fantastic members of society. That is what this partnership enables us to achieve.

“Being able to reward clubs for positive play through the Scottish FA is fantastic, particularly at a challenging time for the game. It allows us to give teams, groups of volunteers and players a boost and a reminder that they are playing such a big role in society.”

The Scottish FA and Nationwide Building Society encourage players, parents, match officials and the wider community to nominate those clubs who create a positive playing environment. For further information on the programme and to submit your nomination, click here