The Scottish FA is delighted to announce SSE as title sponsor of the Scottish FA Girls’ Soccer Centres.
The Scottish FA Girls’ Soccer Centres presented by SSE are designed to help a new generation of girls aged between 5 and 12 years old to fall in love with football in a fun and nurturing environment.
Initially launched in April 2017 across the six Scottish FA regions, by the end of 2017 there were 39 Soccer Centres across Scotland, with some 650 girls participating.
Thanks to SSE’s investment, the Scottish FA aims to have more than 1,000 girls enrolled across 50 Soccer Centres by the end of 2018.
The Soccer Centres are run in partnership with local authorities, leisure trusts, schools and community clubs to deliver weekly active sessions for girls and help to create a gateway for them to the club game.
A member of the Scotland Women’s National Team (SWNT) has been appointed as an ambassador for the Soccer Centres within their home region, providing a visible female role model for the participating girls.
SSE announced their sponsorship of the Soccer Centres at a launch event at the SSE Hydro on Monday, 23 April, attended by SWNT players Lee Alexander, Claire Emslie and SWNT Head Coach Shelley Kerr.
More than 100 primary school girls from local schools Camstradden Primary, Glasgow Gaelic School and St. Patrick’s Primary were at the launch to take part in small-sided football matches and training drills led by Scottish FA staff and the SWNT ambassadors, as well as a special Q&A session with Head Coach Shelley Kerr.
Following the SWNT’s success in qualifying for their first major tournament finals at last summer’s UEFA Women’s Euros – where the team only missed out on qualification for the quarter-finals on goal difference – overall participation numbers in girls’ and women’s football in Scotland has seen a marked increase, with registered player numbers rising from 10,000 to 12,000 by the end of 2017.
Colin Banks, Head of SSE Sponsorship: “SSE are proud to support the Scottish FA Girls’ Soccer Centres – together we can make a difference in inspiring young girls to play football, in a safe, inclusive and engaging environment.
“SSE is driven to nurture and develop talent on and off the field, and we firmly believe that everyone deserves the same opportunity regardless of gender.
“That’s why we’re continually exploring new ways to make girls’ and women’s football more accessible to play and support.”
Donald Gillies, Head of Girls’ and Women’s Football at the Scottish FA: “We are delighted to welcome SSE on board as title sponsor of our Girls’ Soccer Centres and are extremely grateful to them for their investment in growing the girls’ game in Scotland.
“Since the Girls’ Soccer Centres launched last year we have seen a tremendous uptake from young girls, no doubt sparked by the success of our Women’s National Team and through the excellent work by local partners.
“The Soccer Centres are designed to make the game attractive to as wide an audience of young girls as possible and offer a gateway into the game for many girls who may otherwise have no outlet for their interest in football.
“SSE share our passion for growing the girls’ and women’s game and are the perfect partner for the programme as we look to inspire a new generation of female players to fall in love with the game.”