The growth of the girls’ and women’s game in Scotland has received a significant boost thanks to a new partnership between the Scottish FA and Shoosmiths.
The four-year deal will see one of the UK’s leading law firms help to develop a number of different aspects of the girls’ and women’s game in Scotland.
It comes in the wake of the country’s historic first appearance at a FIFA Women’s World Cup, where they narrowly missed out on a place in the knockout stages.
The deal – which will run until the summer of 2023 – will support the development of girls’ and women’s football as the Scottish FA looks to build on the momentum generated over the past few years.
As part of the partnership, Shoosmiths will support the recruitment of 200 female coaches and 20 new female referees.
Shoosmiths is a UK law firm with 13 locations around the UK (including Edinburgh and Glasgow) operating across a wide range of legal disciplines, coupled with deep industry sector expertise. Its clients range from PLCs, mid-sized businesses through to fast-growth companies, in-house legal teams at global corporates, as well as private individuals.
Scotland Women’s National Team Head Coach Shelley Kerr welcomed the news at the official launch of the partnership at Shoosmiths’ offices in Edinburgh.
“The girls’ and women’s game is experiencing a period of unprecedented interest across the nation and Shoosmiths’ commitment to help continue this growth as an official partner is a timely boost,” she said.
“The World Cup was an amazing experience and one that we hope will inspire young Scottish girls to play football in the future.
“We also hope that the team’s success will inspire women to become involved in the sport in a number of other different roles apart from the playing side, such as coaching and refereeing.
“To have the support of a law firm such as Shoosmiths means a lot to us and will help us continue to develop the game across the country.”
Ian Maxwell, Scottish FA Chief Executive, said: “It gives me great pleasure to welcome Shoosmiths to the ever growing family of partners of the girls’ and women’s game in Scotland.
“Shoosmiths becomes the latest organisation to commit itself to developing the girls’ and women’s games across the country, which is testament to the good work which has already been conducted.
“The progress Shelley and the team have made in recent years has been magnificent and we want them to continue their achievements and inspire the nation.
“This partnership will not only help the women’s national team but also other areas, which help to perpetuate the growth of the game at all levels.”
Simon Boss, CEO of Shoosmiths, said: “As a firm with a wide footprint across the UK, we are thrilled to be partnering with the Scottish FA to support the development of both girls’ and women’s football.
“Diversity and inclusion are key to the ethos of Shoosmiths, as is developing the talent within our firm.
“So to be able to support the development of coaches and referees whose contribution is so vital to the game, and who can be role models for the future generation of players, is an absolute pleasure and an excellent fit for us.
“We look forward to working with the teams and individuals to build on the success of girls’ and women’s’ football. “
Janette Speed, partner and head of Shoosmiths’ Edinburgh office added: “It’s an honour to play a small part in inspiring girls and women to reach their true potential and realise their ambitions.
“This partnership underlines Shoosmiths’ commitment to diversity, social mobility and crucially, equality of opportunity.
“Drawing on our collective expertise and drive, we are really excited about helping girls and women to take part at every level and develop their talents on and off the pitch.”