50,000 children more active through the Tesco Bank Football Challenge

Today (29th November 2012), Scottish FA youth ambassador, Owen Coyle, announced that the Tesco Bank Football Challenge, the association’s UEFA commended participation programme, has now engaged a staggering 50,000 children.

The Tesco Bank Football Challenge is a four-year community programme run in partnership with the Scottish FA. The project introduces football to Primary Two and Primary Three children (six to eight years old) across Scotland to help get them engaged in a healthy and active lifestyle. It received a UEFA Silver Grassroots Award in August making it one of the best programmes of its kind in Europe.

Children participate in a six week block of football coaching with qualified Scottish FA coaches, before participating in regional festivals across the country, many of which are held at high profile venues.   A national festival at Hampden Park brings the school year of football to a memorable close.

The original target of 72,000 children across 1,600 primary schools, during the lifespan of the project should now be exceeded.  More than 1000 primary schools in Scotland are already engaged, accounting for over 40% of all schools in the country.

Former Bolton, Burnley and St Johnstone boss Owen Coyle said,

“This is a fantastic moment for the Tesco Bank Football Challenge. The earlier we give children the chance to play football and enjoy the game, the better. Not only have 50,000 had fun with the Scottish FA’s qualified coaches, but children are engaging in healthier lifestyles and schools are benefiting from the legacy training their staff undertook to allow the ethos of the programme to continue.”

Jim Fleeting, Scottish FA head of football development, said,

“The Tesco Bank Football Challenge is one of the outstanding Scottish FA youth football programmes. This milestone only motivates us to continue to provide outstanding opportunities for children to play football for fun, create a real love for the game, whilst promoting active lifestyles.”

Adele Mills, community investment manager at Tesco Bank added,

“Tesco Bank is proud to partner the Scottish FA in delivering this outstanding programme to children in primary schools the length and breadth of the country. We are committed to giving back to the communities we serve by engaging in activity with a real social purpose. There can be no doubt that the way the Tesco Bank Football Challenge has be developed over the last two and a half years is wonderful for everyone involved – most importantly, the children.”


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