Football clubs set to benefit from £2 million investment towards school age childcare
Image by Scottish Football Association
A number of football clubs across Scotland are set to benefit from £2 million of funding to support the provision of after school and holiday activities clubs, as part of a joint initiative between the Scottish Football Association and the Scottish Government.
The announcement was made at Ayr Academy on 3 April, with Scottish FA Chief Executive Ian Maxwell joining First Minister Humza Yousaf.
This investment is a result of the outstanding ongoing pilot work with Ayr United Football Academy (AUFA), who received funding in 2021.
AUFA support a cluster of primary schools and local partners to offer term-time after school and holiday club activity for children. During the sessions, participants receive food and are offered football, multi-sport and some classroom-based activity.
As well as the activity for children, the AUFA funding also helped parents and carers, with employability courses while there was also the offer of offer training and coaching qualifications.
As a result of a collaborative approach between the Scottish FA and UEFA to produce a Social Return on Investment Report with AUFA, Scottish Government earmarked the South Ayrshire club for the funding two years ago.
With the news of this investment, several other clubs will be able to benefit from similar projects to the AUFA. Clubs will be invited to make an application to receive funding and proposals will be assessed by a panel. Details of this process will be communicated in the coming weeks.
Ian Maxwell, Chief Executive of Scottish FA, said, “The Scottish FA welcome today’s announcement from Scottish Government. This investment will allow other clubs to build on the outstanding success of the Ayr United Football Academy project.
“By reducing barriers to play, participants and families will benefit from improved wellbeing, further strengthening the links between our clubs and their local communities.
“This important initiative is aligned with the Scottish FA’s vision within our Football for All strategy, to harness the power of the game, to inspire the nation, transform lives and increase activity at all levels.
“We already know the positive impact the project in Ayr has had on local children and their families and we’re excited about the opportunity to bring this to even more children across Scotland.”
Ayr United Football Academy Chair Allan Gunning said, “This project supports children and families by providing a wide range of activities through after school and holiday clubs.
“It is delivering positive outcomes for children including: increased access to activities and sports, improved nutritional intake, enhanced fitness and engagement in wider education.
“The project is also delivering positive outcomes for families including; assisting with employment, education and training, increasing community involvement, and family participation in grassroots clubs and organisations.
“We are delighted that project funding is continuing and appreciate the Scottish Government’s ongoing commitment to improving outcomes.”
First Minister Humza Yousaf added, “Tackling child poverty and helping families deal with cost of living pressures are key priorities.
“Funded school age childcare benefits families in a number of ways. It supports parents and carers into work, enabling them to provide for their families and to contribute to a wellbeing economy.
“It also provides safe, nurturing environments for children and opportunities for them to socialise and take part in a wide range of activities.”