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Week of Football: Learning Through Football

The Power of Football will be showcased in a week-long series of celebratory events this week, with the first ever Week of Football.

Book-ended by the Women’s and Men’s Scottish Cup Finals, the Week of Football is a chance to shine a light on the clubs, schools, bodies, volunteers and fans across Scotland who make football possible.

Every club, association, community group and local authority in Scotland is being encouraged to take part, to make it a nation-wide celebration of Scotland’s national game.

As part of the year-long celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Scottish FA, all aspects of football in Scotland will have their chance to be celebrated in a series of themed events – from the youth footballers dreaming of playing for Scotland, to the older generation looking back at cherished memories, in a week-long series of celebratory events, with a different theme each day.

Learning through Football will be the focus of today (Tuesday, 30 May), celebrating how football is being used as an educational tool in Scotland’s schools.

Over the past ten years, Clyde FC, via their charity wing, Clyde FC Community Foundation have been at the forefront in promoting projects and initiatives embracing this very topic. Aside from our community teams based in Cumbernauld and Toryglen plus our traditional “holiday camps” run at Easter, Summer and October, the Community Foundation have taken their initiatives into the local schools and nurseries, with examples of our community successes highlighted below.

The Clyde FC Community Foundation in partnership with our then club sponsor, Advance Construction, offered each nursery school in the local community and surrounding areas the offer of four free sessions as part of our new nursery programme. The programme aimed to develop boys and girls through active play, designed to improve physical, co-ordination, balance, communication and listening skills. It used a mixture of activities such as skipping, hopping, jumping and fun football activities to improve the confidence levels of young children at nursery. The programme offered each pre-school child the opportunity to be part of an energetic, dynamic and fun physical activity through the use of colourful equipment and a carefully designed curriculum. 

The Clyde FC Community Foundation in conjunction with Active Schools launched it’s Young Start project, an exciting opportunity for young people in the local community. This initiative focused on increasing opportunities for young people to be more physically active while also having a say on what new opportunities they would like to see being offered in their community.  Our community coaches delivered an eco-friendly football programme in local primary schools, to P4-P6 children, creatively combining numeracy and literacy skills based around football from both on and off the park prospectives. Other such initiatives have included the School of the Month, organised by the Foundation, which saw a local school invited to the stadium each month for a first team match. 

This also included a school visit from our Community Football Development officer along with the first team manager and first team players to encourage pupils to support their local team. The children got to enjoy a Q&A session with them and a “lucky pupil” won the opportunity to be team mascot on their matchday visit.

Post COVID, our Community Foundation have been back, delivering a new programme, “Health Heroes”, to local primary schools. This project proved very popular with the local schools and engaged with over 2500 boys and girls. Our partner in the project, Active Schools, praised the “Healthy Heroes” programme that kicked off an amazing start within primary schools within the local community.

Children enjoyed taster football sessions from inspirational coaches whilst learning about keeping their mind and bodies healthy. The project received very positive feedback from children and teachers telling us how much children have enjoyed the sessions and in many cases has sparked an interest in taking up football as a new sport.

More recently, we have re-introduced the “Bully Wee Classes” with the emphasis on the younger age groups.        

The above are but a few examples that are a testament to the strength of partnership work involving Active Schools and Clyde FC Community Foundation successfully delivering programmes based on the theme “Learning Through Football”.

Our Community Development Officer, Kirsty McFarlane, and the team of coaches provide such positive role models for young people and are always looking to be creative with each initiative, using football as an educational tool to foster a sense of community, belonging, and identity among participants who share a common passion and interest for the sport.