St Mirren 1st Team players Joe McKee and Kenny McLean were at Todholm Primary School to launch year 2 of the Scottish FA & Tesco Bank Football Challenge in Renfrewshire which uses football to get Primary 2 and Primary 3 children (6-8 years old) more active within school curriculum time. Coaches from St Mirren will help deliver the programme.

As well as Todholm Primary enjoying the fully funded football, Newmains, Arkelston, Kirklandneuk, St Jame’s, Gallowhill, St John Ogilvie, St Catherine’s, Ralston and Williamsburgh will also take part in the 6 week programme, culminating in a football festival on St Mirren Park in October for all 451 participants.


The programme will also support volunteers and teacher’s Continued Professional Development with a free in-service and matchday ticket on the home game versus Kilmarnock.
 
In its first 12 months the Tesco Bank Football Challenge has engaged over 19,061 children participating in activity sessions across 479 schools nationwide – exceeding its first year targets – and Benny Higgins, Chief Executive of Tesco Bank, hopes that even more children will take part in the programme in the forthcoming year.

Benny said:“We were delighted by the response during the first year of the Football Challenge. Over 19,000 children from more than 470 schools across Scotland took part in the programme.   It was wonderful to see so many children being actively involved. It would not have been possible without the support of over 1000 volunteers, including teachers, who invested their time.  We hope that even more children will take part this year.”

Saints boss, Danny Lennon is a big fan of the scheme.

He said: “The Tesco Bank Football Challenge is integral to the development of the game in Scotland. It is not only about learning basic football skills but also about getting children involved in physical activity. I think that is fantastic that so many children from the Renfrewshire area have been given the chance to take part in an initiative that is beneficial for both the local community and Scottish football.”
 
Campbell Ogilvie, President of the Scottish FA, commented:
 
“We thank Tesco Bank for their support of the Football Challenge. As a result of their support we are now able to deliver a very impressive participation programme, as identified as a major priority for the Scottish FA in our Strategic Review by Henry McLeish. We believe the Tesco Bank Football Challenge will continue to go from strength to strength in the year ahead.”