Children from Stirling and Bridge of Allan received a surprise visit from the Scottish Communities League Cup (SCLC) and Stirling Albion full-back Ross McGeachie, recently as part of the Wave of Support Trophy Tour to promote respect, responsibility and tolerance to football fans and families throughout Scotland.
The SCLC is, for the second year running, sponsored by the Scottish Government and, with the help of all SFL and SPL clubs, is coordinating a national Trophy Tour to celebrate and grow the appeal and awareness of existing club, school and other community football and sports initiatives across the country.
Over 30 kids, aged between 5 and 8 years old, took part in the football training under the watchful eye of SFA coaches and Ross. The pupils were also given the chance to have their photo taken with the Cup, ask Ross questions and learn about the importance of respect, responsibility and tolerance on and off the pitch to encourage positive behaviour and unite communities.
Joining the Wave of Support Trophy Tour as it arrived in Stirling, Stirling Albion full-back Ross McGeachie said: “It’s great to be involved in the Trophy Tour and see the reaction on the kids’ faces when they get to hold the Cup. Community football projects are a brilliant way to get young people interested in the game. Through football we can encourage kids to work together, play to one another’s strengths and, by creating opportunities for them to be more active, help identify Scotland’s future sports stars.”
Scott Kinross, football development officer at Active Stirling said: “We were thrilled to have the Trophy Tour visit our football centre and it was a real highlight for each of the kids to be pictured with the Cup. Football is something every child can get involved in, be it taking part in community events, playing for local clubs or simply cheering on their favourite SFL and SPL teams. Professional sports people are hugely influential, particularly among school-age children, and it’s fantastic to be able to show off the positive impact football has in our community and inspire our kids to future success.”
This year, the Scottish Government’s sponsorship of the Cup has increased 70 percent to the tune of £1.7 million, £500,000 of which is from the Cashback for Communities programme. The Cashback initiative invests money seized from criminal activity back into Scotland’s communities and, since the programme’s inception in 2007, over 600,000 young people across Scotland have benefited. Sponsorship of the Scottish Communities League Cup is aimed at getting more young people involved in sport and supporting football league clubs become community sports hubs, to give more people the opportunity to part in physical activity.
The Wave of Support Trophy Tour is scheduled to visit a range of community initiatives and sports events organised across all of Scotland’s 32 local authorities between now and the Cup Final on Sunday 17 March 2013. For further information visit the Scottish Communities League Cup Facebook page or follow the Trophy Tour on Twitter @ScotleagueCup.