A group from Mossend FC travelled to Lennoxtown on Sunday as recognition of their efforts working with the local North Lanarkshire Mosque.
It was thanks to the Scottish FA Equity team, which aims to get people from diverse backgrounds engaged and involved with grassroots football. It’s a process which is well underway as clubs such as Mossend FC and Milngavie prove.
Russell Sanderson, Club Development & Publicity Secretary at Mossend said “We heard there were a lot of local children who were going to school, going to the local mosque and then going to football training, but training by themselves. What we at Mossend FC wanted to do was to get them involved with us as the local football club.”
It started out with Mossend sending along coaches to training sessions aimed at local children from ethnic minorities. Since then it’s developed so that the club is now hosting training sessions themselves with around 60 boys in attendance. They’ve also gone on to sign two players for the club.
Scottish FA Equity Team Officer, Atta Yaqub, commented “Mossend FC is one example of a club who have shown a great commitment to being involved by getting coaches along to participation centres aimed at ethnic minority communities. They’re now helping these young players and coaches from minority communities by creating a player pathway and having them involved in local grassroots football.”
Not only is Mossend FC involving local children, but they’re also trying to involve adults from the mosque. “We found that a lot of adults at the mosque were football coaches and they had their qualification badges,” said Mr Sanderson. “So we’ve made sure to give them an open invitation to come along to the club and help coach some of our teams.”
Their work hasn’t gone unrecognised and a number of members from the club got the chance to go along to Lennoxtown on Sunday as part of a non-competitive festival. Mr Sanderson said “It was great to be rewarded by going along to Lennoxtown. We had 15 participants and they had an amazing time.”
Mr Yaqub, who was one of the organizers of the event said “This Sunday was a great success for a festival which was the first of its kind. It brought together groups which have been active in the project. In total we had around 60 to 80 kids who really enjoyed the day and there was a great harmony between the children, who come from different and diverse backgrounds.”
Mossend FC are now looking to the future and are as engaged as ever with the project. Mr Sanderson said “Our involvement is long term and we’re fully committed to the project of getting as many local people involved with the club no matter what race, religion or background.”
The Scottish FA Equity Team is also looking ahead and to build on this weekend’s festival which Mr Yaqub notes it “Was a huge achievement which we had envisaged from the beginning.”
He added “We hope we can continue to go on from here and get as many people from diverse backgrounds involved and make sure grassroots football, and sport in general, is open to all.”