Twenty Eight Clubs were honoured at the annual Scottish FA South West Regional Quality Mark Awards, supported by McDonald’s, on Saturday, 9 December 2017.
The Park Hotel, next door to Kilmarnock FC’s Rugby Park, played host to the event where clubs and volunteers were recognised for their outstanding work in the grassroots game.
To gain one of the awards - Standard, Development, Community or Legacy – clubs must meet the relevant Quality Mark criteria.
Designed to support and recognise the work of clubs who have the desire to be the very best they can be, the Scottish FA Quality Mark accreditation programme aims to improve and support club structures relating to Governance, Environment & People.
Former Kilmarnock FC players Garry Hay and Paul Di Giacomo assisted in the presentation of the awards alongside Paul McCue & George Fleming from McDonald’s, the official sponsor of the Scottish FA’s Quality Mark Programme.
A video featuring Community and Legacy Level clubs, produced by Scott Morrison, was screened to showcase the work each of the clubs do in their local community, whilst guest speaker Eric Davidson entertained the audience with poems and songs.
John Brown, Scottish FA Regional Manager, also took to the stage at the awards thanking the Clubs and talked passionately about the value of having good people within our clubs.
Jodie McEwan, now working at Street soccer stole the show by sharing her remarkable story about how Football saved her life.
Jodie’s messages of the “high of life” Football has given her after scoring the winning goal v Holland in the Homeless World Cup hit home to all the Volunteers at the Awards, reminding us all that we can change lives through the power of Football.
Scottish FA Regional Manager, John Brown, said: "The Quality Mark Awards is an opportunity to highlight all the great work done in grassroots football throughout the region and we are pleased that so many clubs have engaged in the process this year.
"We are delighted with the continued support from our community partners McDonald’s, and it speaks volumes for the strength of the relationship that Paul and George were so willing to give up their time on a Saturday afternoon to assist with the awards presentation.
"For many of the clubs being recognised, Quality Mark is a key component of their vision and ethos, and for others who are just starting the journey it has helped them think more about planning for the future and becoming more sustainable.’’
David Sheldon, Scottish FA South West Regional Club Development Manager, said: "It has been a pleasure working with every one of these clubs this year.
"It is remarkable to see the amount of time and effort people are prepared to give on a voluntary basis just to let people play football, and the awards are a great way to say thank you and to recognise the work the volunteers do, as they create Football for Life in their local Communities.”
2017 Awarded Clubs
Standard Award: Galloway Thistle, Greystone Rovers AFC, Lochar Thistle YFC, Millennium FC, Queen of the South Girls, Symington Tinto AFC, Bellfield Youths FC
Kilmarnock Portland FC, Irvine Meadow YFC, Woodwynd Wolves FC, Ayr Thistle Colts, Craigie Colts, Blantyre Boys Club, EK Burgh United FC, Blantyre Vics YFC, Mill United FC, Lesmahagow CFC
Development Award: Terregles YFC, Auchinleck Talbot, Girvan Youths, Kilmarnock Ladies FC, Troon Thistle YFC, Stewarton Annick FC, Scotland Boys Club
Community Award: Milton Rovers YFC, Caledonian YFC
Legacy Award: Bonnyton Thistle FC, Kilwinning SC