Keep up-to-date with the latest football activities in the West region on Twitter @sfa_west

The Scottish FA West region, supported by the Leonardo Da Vinci Programme, have been on a fact finding mission to Stockholm to understand how the grassroots game is developed there.

The group who travelled included representatives from the Scottish FA regional team, local authority personnel, including football development officers, and elected members from the area.

In addition, there was also representation by the Scottish FA West region committee and coaches and committee members from some of its non-professional football clubs who have achieved Quality Mark status.

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.

The trip saw a 13 strong group spend time with the Swedish FA, Stockholm FA and both grassroots and professional clubs from Stockholm in order to gain knowledge to use back home in Scotland.

Scottish FA West Region Club Devlopment Manager, Danny Bisland, said: “We were delighted with the hospitality shown to us from all at the Swedish FA, Stockholm FA and all the clubs that we visited.

"We managed to gain a fascinating insight in how the clubs operate, develop players and link with local and national partners to help grow the game in Stockholm and surrounding areas.

"The sheer size and scope of the clubs, with the majority catering for in excess of 1500 playing members, certainly left all in the travelling party with many aspirational ideas to implement within the region and beyond.”

The trip was funded as part of the Leonardo Da Vinci project, which supports the education and development of the elite coaches who work with the most talented players throughout Scotland.

The programme visit focused on professional, semi-professional and grassroots club development and how they link with one another to provide playing and coaching opportunities for their members.

The Leonardo Programme is part of the European Union’s Lifelong Learning Programme.

It supports UK vocational education and training organisations, staff and learners to work together with European partners to improve training, skills and employability.

Through the Association’s network of regional managers, study visits to a host of European destinations have been arranged for Quality Mark accredited grassroots clubs with the aim of sharing new developments in helping the game grow.

To learn more about Quality Mark and sign your club up to the programme, click here.