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The Spartans FC in Edinburgh has been awarded the Legacy Quality Mark Award by the Scottish FA.
Quality Mark is the Association’s accreditation programme designed to support and recognise the work of grassroots clubs and teams who have a desire to be the very best they can be.
There are five levels - Entry, Standard, Development, Community or Legacy – all related to a list of criteria on areas such as club structure, coach education and administration.
Legacy is the highest level. This means a club has met every requirement of the Quality Mark programme and has twelve teams or more represented in the children, youth, adult and female game.
Spartans chairman Craig Graham said: “We were keen to go for the Legacy to show all our youngsters and their parents how keen we were to have the best possible environment for their development.
“The award sets very high standards for every aspect of what we do such as coaching quality, community engagement, facilities, getting the balance between fun, learning and winning, child protection and personal development.
“We want our youngsters to have loved their time with us.
“The award helps give confidence to our wider partners, for example, our local schools, NHS Lothian, and the community youth groups, that we are adopting good practice and committed to excellence.”
The north Edinburgh club is one of the most popular community clubs in Scotland, catering for over 500 players and hosting over 2000 people in its various activity programmes each week.
Working in partnership with various local organisations, the club delivers an array of community programmes including:
Street Football in a Safe Place – an initiative where local school children can play for free at specific times each day.
Friday FooTEA club – every Friday night Primary School children from the local area come to the Academy, where they receive one hours supervised football, can play indoor games and enjoy a nutritious meal.
Street Fit-Baw Programme – each week, using its portable pitch and working in partnership with local youth agencies, the club provides two to three hour provision for young people of all ages to play small sided games for free.
School Visit Programme – each week Spartans Community Coaches deliver coaching sessions in various local primary schools.
The National Player Pathway - which has young players playing in the appropriate format for their age to ensure they develop in the right way – is in place at Spartans. This is one of the criteria to be met on the Quality Mark programme.
There are girls’ teams from under-9 all the way up to under-16, along with a senior women’s team who play in the Scottish Women's Premier League.
Spartans FC Youth offers football for boys aged from three-years-old all the way up to 19.
The men’s team play in the newly formed Scottish Football Lowland League.
Michelle McNab, Spartans Youth section club manager, said: “We’re delighted to have been given this award. We’ve worked very hard to achieve it. We’ve increased the number of coaches and the level of qualifications they have.
“By having this award, it provides us with a prestige which, going forward, helps us access future funding streams. It raises our profile in the community too.”
Scottish FA club development manager for the South East, David Sheldon, said: “This really is a community driven club which has the benefits it can bring to the surrounding area at its heart.
“The club have been a pleasure to work with throughout their Quality Mark application process.”
To learn more about Quality Mark or sign your club up to the scheme, click here.
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