inspirational speaker, John recognises that football is Scotland’s most
popular game. He shares the SFA vision of a pathway, essentially from
cradle to grave. The aim
is to make the next generation fitter. Those that show interest can
join more senior teams - there is a pyramid of ever higher endeavour.
Others simply enjoy the physical activity.
All play in a safe environment, not on the street as in the old days.
schools are involved in this after school activity with 400 children
taking part in last year’s programme. 500 are expected this year. Prior
to 2014 no girls were playing.
Now there are 60 under the age of 15 making up 4 teams. They compete
against girls teams in Dundee,Brechin and even as far afield as
Inverness and Dingwall. Financial support comes from SFA offices in
Dundee and, of course, from parents.
catchment area was enlarged from originally covering only St Andrews to
include the East Neuk in order to attract more people. The great need
now is for more coaches.
Those are often from the University and also sixth year pupils doing
sports education. With more voluntary manpower the activity can be
extended to older age groups, offering them “walking football” and to
disabled players. The next step is to extend the opportunities
to those with mental or physical frailty who can still have fun without
being unduly competitive. They would play outside in summer and indoors
a lively question and answer session, Angela Fowlis gave the vote of
thanks, recalling how much she had enjoyed watching her father play for
St Andrews United when
she was a child. Speaking as a teacher,herself, she believed it was
essential to involve children in something they loved.