UEFA Technical Director Andy Roxburgh has described Scotland’s grassroots football programme as “among the best in Europe”.
Roxburgh was presenting the Scottish FA with a silver award in the 2012 UEFA Grassroots Day Awards ‘Best Project’ for its flagship participation programme, the Tesco Bank Football Challenge.
The four-year community programme – run in partnership with Tesco Bank – introduces football to 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 has already reached over 39,000 children in Scotland at the start of its third year, with 40% of all Scottish schools involved in the scheme – up 11% on the original target.
“I am delighted to be able to present this award on behalf of UEFA,” said Mr Roxburgh.
“The Scottish FA’s grassroots programme is amongst the best in Europe and this particular programme has been a great success since its creation two years ago.”
The foundation level of the Scottish FA’s Development Plan, the initiative 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.
Director of Football Development Jim Fleeting was proud to receive the award from his fellow Scot on behalf of the SFA.
“Receiving recognition from UEFA is an honour,” said Fleeting. “The partnership between the Scottish FA and Tesco Bank through the Football Challenge is a key part of our grassroots development.
“It is also a key driver in enabling is to deliver our Strong Quality Growth objective of doubling the number of participants in the recreational game.”
The Tesco Bank Football Challenge 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.
To find out more visit tescobank.com.