Westdyke FC has been recognised for its valuable contribution to grassroots football after becoming the first club in the North of Scotland to receive the Scottish FA Quality Mark Community Award.

The Community Award is the highest level in the Quality Mark Accreditation Scheme, run by the Scottish FA in partnership with McDonald’s and sportscotland to recognise pro-active clubs and schools.

The award was presented by the Scottish FA’s North Region Club Development Officer Mark Slater, in partnership with McDonald’s, during a football tournament organised by Westdyke FC to celebrate their new Community Club status.

Westdyke FC, founded in 1996, started out with just two boys’ teams. 15 years on the club now fields 14 teams each weekend, including one girls’ side, and has over 200 playing members aged between five and 18 years old.

Each week 25 fully qualified and dedicated Westdyke FC coaches give up their free time to coach grassroots football and are always looking to help the club and the community reach a higher standard of football.

Westdyke FC actively works alongside local primary schools in the area and regularly helps out at Westhill Academy, the local secondary school, to ensure that the standard of football in the region remains consistently high.

Westdyke FC Club Chairman Graham Burnett said: “This is a fantastic achievement for Westdyke FC.  The club has worked hard to ensure we reach this standard and we are so proud to be the first club in the North to have received the award. The Quality Mark has given us the confidence to keep moving forward and reach higher standards. I would like to thank everyone at the club for their efforts.”

Scottish FA North Club Development Officer Mark Slater said: “I am delighted that Westdyke FC has received the Scottish FA Community Quality Mark award. The players, coaches and volunteers at the club have worked tirelessly to provide an environment where players and coaches can develop in a positive, safe and progressive way.  Our partnership with McDonald's allows us the opportunity to support many grassroots clubs of which Westdyke FC is a fantastic example.”

There are three Quality Mark categories - Standard, Development, and Community and to date 250 clubs and schools have achieved accreditation across the three categories, what more over 4,000 coaches have benefited from coach education and first aid training.

Through the Quality Mark accreditation scheme, McDonald’s and the Scottish FA aim to provide support to grassroots clubs and schools across Scotland as they strive to broaden youth and community participation and to enhance player, coach and volunteer development. 

McDonald’s, Scottish FA’s community partner since 2002, will help to attract 13,000 new volunteers and 10,000 new coaches by 2014, as well as supporting 600 clubs and 52,000 players through new and existing football networks.

The Quality Mark Accreditation Scheme is supported by sportscotland, the national agency for sport. sportscotland has one clear focus – to develop a world class sporting system for Scotland – and works with partners to build success for Scottish sport.

sportscotland is a key partner in the delivery of youth football programmes, investing over £1m per year in activities including employment of club development staff, discounted coach education and training for volunteers.

For further information on the Scottish FA Quality Mark programme, please visit www.scottishfa.co.uk/footballdevelopment