PFA Scotland is delighted to donate £5000 to the Scottish Football Partnership Trust’s Grassroots Football Fund.
The fund has been put together to help safeguard the future of football at grassroots level and prevent thousands of young players of the future being lost to the game forever.
These are difficult times for Scottish Football as Coronavirus has had a negative impact on our national game.
However, it is not just at senior level where the effects are being felt – grassroots football is suffering badly too.
Stuart McCaffrey, Chief Operating Officer of the Scottish Football Partnership Trust, explained: “A recent survey of around 300 community clubs indicated that almost 60% of them are facing critical financial challenges in the weeks and months ahead.
“Grassroots Player and volunteer coach numbers are down significantly since lockdown measures were eased with children from a disadvantaged background, who cannot afford to pay their monthly subs, likely to be hit hardest and potentially lost to the game forever.
“It is absolutely vital for the future of Scottish football that we do everything we can to support young people who play at this level and we are delighted to receive support from PFA Scotland and their members who have similarly recognised the need to ensure kids continue to have opportunities to kick a ball and to remain on the pitch.”
The vast majority of PFA Scotland’s members started out their careers at grassroots level so the union’s Management Committee felt it was an opportunity to give something back and invest in the future of our game.
Fraser Wishart, Chief Executive of PFA Scotland, said: “The players on our Management Committee felt very passionately about this as not only did they start their careers with their local grassroots clubs, some of their children are now following in their footsteps.
“They understand how important these clubs are to the lifeblood of football in this country – we need to ensure we are still producing the footballers of tomorrow.
“At the moment, some clubs don’t have anywhere to train as council facilities are still shut, and will remain so for the foreseeable future, while in other cases parents simply can’t afford to pay for their children to go to football anymore as a result of losing their jobs or having to make cuts to their household budgets.
“The knock-on effects from this are wide and far-reaching from affecting children’s fitness and mental wellbeing to added guilt and anxiety heaped on to the parents, who feel they are depriving their children of recreational activities.
“It also affects the hopes and dreams of young boys and girls who, given time and coaching, could go on to play at professional level and perhaps even have the honour of representing their country one day.
“We are delighted to be able to make this donation and would encourage other organisations to do the same to ensure grassroots football is alive and kicking when we come through this troubling period.”
All monies raised through the fund will help children keep playing for their boys/girls clubs and ensure the survival of many grassroots football clubs.
Below is a link to the fund, should anyone wish to make a contribution.