£2.2m crime cash to fund football training for kids

Kenny MacAskill unveiled the funding as part of the CashBack for Communites programme. Picture: Getty
Kenny MacAskill unveiled the funding as part of the CashBack for Communites programme. Picture: Getty
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Children will receive free football training thanks to £2.25 million seized from criminals and handed to the Scottish Football Association.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill unveiled the funding on a visit to Shawlands Academy, Glasgow, to see young people train as part of the Glasgow All Nations Sports and Recreation (Ansar) Easter holiday football programme.

The programme is supported by the SFA Equity Project, a unique initiative aimed at increasing the number of people from ethnic minorities participating in the game, which has received £467,475 of CashBack funding since 2011.

Mr MacAskill said: “The CashBack for Communities programme has been incredibly successful in using money seized from criminals to fund projects in every part of Scotland.

“Today’s announcement brings the total amount we have invested and committed to encouraging young people into footballing activity through the SFA to more than £7.5 million - with £74 million invested or committed through CashBack overall since 2008.

“CashBack has made significant investments in Scottish sport and our commitment to helping grass-roots programmes is underlined by today’s announcement. This £2.25 million award will help more than 50 clubs and groups continue their excellent work providing free sporting activities for their local community.

“As one of our CashBack partners, the Scottish FA is helping us ensure that the ill-gotten gains of criminals can be put to good use by keeping youngsters out of trouble and hopefully unearthing future star strikers for the Scotland football squad.”

The Scottish FA has undertaken significant investment in equity projects, with 1,400 individuals from 43 diverse ethnic groups across Scotland now taking part in activities including playing, coaching and volunteering.

SFA director of football development Jim Fleeting said: “The Scottish FA is grateful for the continued support from the Scottish Government via CashBack for Communities funding.

“The grant will enable us to continue our objective to grow the national sport at grass-roots level and in particular to make the game accessible to all, regardless of ability, sex, religion or ethnicity.

“I am delighted to be at Shawlands Academy to recognise and endorse the great work undertaken by Glasgow Ansar. This kind of activity highlights the work of our equity officers and today’s announcement by the Cabinet Secretary will enable us to help clubs such as Glasgow Ansar to access coach education, volunteering and funding support.”