34 local clubs have been recognised for their valuable contribution to grassroots football.

At a special awards evening at Easter Road Stadium in Edinburgh, the clubs were presented with their Scottish FA Quality Mark Awards by Scottish FA director of football development Jim Fleeting and Hibernian legend Gordon Hunter.

This year, three special merit awards were introduced to the annual ceremony. Billy McAdam of BFC Linlithgow was named coach of the year for the South East Region whilst Murieston United won Community Club of the Year.  Allan Archibald, who has been league secretary for the Lothian Buses youth leagues in Edinburgh for over 20 years, won the Special Merit Award for services to youth football.

The Quality Mark Accreditation Scheme, run by the Scottish FA in partnership with McDonald’s and The Big Lottery Fund, recognises proactive clubs and schools working to increase youth and community participation. There are three Quality Mark categories - Standard, Development, and Community.

The following clubs received their awards:

Community Award
Blackburn United Community Youth F C, Broxburn Athletic, Boroughmuir Thistle, Currie Star FC, Dunbar United Colts, Leith Athletic

Development Award
Arniston Rangers B C, Bathgate Rose F C, Beeslack Thistle, Edina Hibs, Heart of Midlothian Girls' & Women's FC, Livingston Hearts C F C

Standard Award
AC Oxgangs, Ancrum FC, B F C Linlithgow, Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic, Craigroyston BC, Cramond FC, Dunedin FC, Eyemouth FC, Gala Fairydean FC, Joppa United, Kelso FC, Leithen Vale Sports Club, Redhall Star FC, Musselburgh Windsor, Musselburgh Youngstars, North Berwick Colts, Peebles Football Club, Pumpherston United, Redhall Star YFC, Selkirk FC, Seton B C, Whitehill Welfare FC

Clubs and schools receive the award after meeting standards in areas such as coach and player development, management, administration, welfare and planning. So far more than 100 clubs and schools have achieved accreditation over the three categories, and over 4,000 coaches have benefited from coach education and first aid training.

Jim Fleeting said: “Grassroots clubs, and the volunteers who make them tick, are the lifeblood of our game, and it’s vitally important that we recognise them for their efforts. The Quality Mark accreditation scheme is helping to improve standards at clubs across the country and I’m very impressed by the number of clubs in the SOuth East region who have grabbed the opportunity to get involved. We must also thank our community partner McDonald’s for their continued support of the grassroots game.”

Scottish FA South East club development manager David Drummond said:  "We are delighted that so many clubs in the region have embraced the Quality Mark programme.  More than half of the 112 clubs across the region are now accredited, which demonstrates the commitment and enthusiasm of the thousands of volunteers and coaches. Congratulations on a fantastic achievement to everyone who picked up their awards at this year’s ceremony."

McDonald’s, Scottish FA’s community partner since 2002, will help to attract 13,000 new volunteers and 10,000 new coaches by 2014, as well as supporting 600 clubs and 52,000 players through new and existing football networks.

Through the Quality Mark Accreditation Scheme, McDonald’s and the Scottish FA aim to provide support to grassroots clubs and schools across Scotland as they strive to broaden youth and community participation and to enhance player, coach and volunteer development. 

The Quality Mark scheme is supported by the Big Lottery Fund, which contributes to the employment of all Scottish FA club development staff, as well as discounted coach education and first aid courses for grassroots volunteers. The Big Lottery Fund is a key Scottish FA partner, contributing £6m to the delivery of the Scottish FA Youth Action Plan.

For further information on the Scottish FA Quality Mark programme, click here...