30/09/2008

Crime Cash To Kick Start Girls' Football

The proceeds of crime is to be used to fund a series of initiatives aimed at encouraging more girls to play, coach and volunteer for football in Scotland.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill today announced that the Scottish Government has brokered agreement with the Scottish FA to provide £297,000 over the next three years to support four football-related projects.

The latest phase of the Scottish Government's CashBack for Communities scheme will be used to increase participation in girls football and ensure that all those girls who want to play the sport on a formal and regular basis can do so.

The girls and women's game is growing in Scotland, and this money will help raise the game's profile further and catch up with other countries such as America, Germany and Sweden.

The scheme includes linking schools to the 12 Scottish Women's Premier League clubs, a series of roadshows in areas not covered by these clubs to make girls aware of playing opportunities and the development of a national programme for girls football and the resources to support it.

Speaking in advance of visiting Spartans Football Club in Edinburgh, Kenny MacAskill said: "Football can play a big part in diverting young people from getting involved in crime and antisocial behaviour. That is why this Government, as part of our CashBack for Communities scheme, is helping the Scottish FA to inspire and attract large numbers of female youth players, coaches and volunteers to the beautiful game.

"Football is a game for girls as well as boys. Equally as well as helping the lads, we want to help the ladettes find something better to do with their lives and keep them out of mischief."

Gordon Smith, Scottish FA Chief Executive said: "Football is a fantastic tool for educating young people and helping them to develop into better citizens, and we're committed to creating and maintaining structures that will allow as many girls to play organised football as possible."

(GK/JM)

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