The Scottish FA has been recognised by UEFA for their work in getting more young children playing football.
The Tesco Bank Football Challenge, the SFA’s flagship participation programme for primary school children, picked up a silver award in the 2012 UEFA Grassroots Day Awards ‘Best Project’ Category.
The four-year community programme – run in partnership with Tesco Bank – introduces football to Primary two and Primary three children (six to eight year olds) across Scotland to help get them engaged in a healthy and active lifestyle.
Supported by a £1m investment from Tesco Bank, the programme aims to reach 72,000 boys and girls of all levels and abilities in at least 1,600 primary schools across Scotland’s 32 local authorities over four years.
The Tesco Bank Football Challenge is the foundation level of the SFA’s Development Plan. It is based on the four-a side Desire to Play programme, and is designed to develop social skills, health and fitness, camaraderie, and the development of general physical literacy skills.
More than 36,000 children across Scotland have been involved in the Challenge in the first two years of the programme which sees children receive in-school coaching before attending a regional cluster festival. In May over 300 children were invited to a national festival of football and fun at Hampden Park, the second such event held.
SFA Director of Football Development Jim Fleeting said: “To receive this recognition from European football’s governing body is absolutely fantastic.
“The partnership between the Scottish FA and Tesco Bank through the Football Challenge is an integral part of our grassroots development and a key driver in enabling us to deliver our Strong Quality Growth objective of doubling the number of participants in the recreational game.
“The Tesco Bank Football Challenge is a great way to involve young people in the national sport in communities across Scotland and a fantastic way to promote healthy living at a key age group.”
To find out more visit tescobankfootballchallenge.com.