Scottish FA South East Region Kick-Off Soccer One Schools Programmes
Today marks the start of another year of the Scottish FA’s Soccer One programme with all five local authorities in the Region (Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothian, West Lothian and Scottish Borders) participating in the programme for the first time.
Bank of Scotland Soccer One and Soccer Two is an exciting programme of year-round training and match play and is a joint initiative involving Bank of Scotland, Scottish Government’s Cashback For Communities and the Scottish FA.
The Soccer One programme supports the creation of new football teams for first year secondary school pupils for boys and First to Third year pupils for girls, throughout Scotland regardless of ability.
The programme commences in all of Edinburgh’s twenty-three secondary schools this week with the other areas following in the coming weeks.
This year will also see the introduction of the Soccer Two programme which offers football opportunities to second year boys in the format of inter-schools matches.
The Edinburgh Schools programme is supported through an extremely effective partnership with Edinburgh’s Telford College whose students on the HNC and HND programmes are leading and delivering sessions. The programme utilises second year students as mentors to the first year equivalents and the programme is coordinated through Edinburgh’s Football Development Officer, David Sheldon.
“Telford College have been working in partnership with ourselves and the Scottish FA for four years now and it is recognised as one of the most effective partnerships around”.
The Partnership was recognised last year with a national training award. Telford College students also support the delivery of the programme across East Lothian, Midlothian and West Lothian.
Mark Munro, Scottish FA Regional Manager, commented: “The Bank of Scotland Soccer One and Soccer Two initiatives will increase the number of school pupils playing football and that is vitally important to the future of the game in Scotland.
"Not only are there obvious health benefits for those participating but I believe the game in general will benefit from more coaching sessions for pupils and our football development staff are working hard to ensure that these kids have the opportunity to continue their interest beyond these schools sessions within a club environment.
"We are also offering free coach education courses for S5 and S6 pupils within the schools who are interested in volunteering their time which is a fantastic opportunity”
Jim Fleeting, Director of Football Development at the Scottish FA added: "Bank of Scotland Soccer One is great four year plan to make regular coaching and competitive matches available to all first and second year pupils, both girls and boys, across all secondary schools in mainland Scotland.
"The Scottish FA has worked closely with secondary schools across Scotland to develop a sustainable and effective coaching programme. This project is a massive step forward for the development of the game of football in this country. I would like to thank the Bank of Scotland and the Scottish Government for their support in launching this initiative.”
Bank of Scotland Soccer One aims are:
+ To increase the participation and development of young people, both male and female, in football within early years of secondary school
+ To develop sustainable matches/league structure that encourages participation on a more regular basis and encourages players of all abilities
+ To promote health and well-being amongst all participants + To increase the number of volunteers working in football
All first year pupils in participating schools will have the opportunity to access four hours of weekly coaching co-ordinated by the Scottish Football Association together with a competitive match structure.
This year, every secondary school in the South East has been given the opportunity to participate in the programme with fifty-one of a possible fifty-five schools accepting the offer. The schools participating in the programme are;
Preston Lodge HS
Ross High School
North Berwick HS
Deans Community HS
Inveralmond Community HS
St Margaret’s RC Academy
West Calder HS
City of Edinburgh:
John Gillespies HS
Royal High School
St Augustine’s HS
St Thomas of Acquins HS
Wester Hailes Education Centre
Drummond Community HS
High School of Berwickshire
Beeslack Community HS
Lasswade Community HS
Newbattle Community HS
St David’s HS