Hyndland Secondary School in Glasgow, has become the first school in Scotland to receive the SSFA Schools Quality Award, having only fully reintroduced football into the school 18 months ago. Scotland manager, Gordon Strachan, said:
“Congratulations to Hyndland Secondary School on becoming the first school in the country to receive the Schools Quality Award. I have fond memories of playing schools football and the rivalries helped me to improve, while the friendships with team-mates have lasted a lifetime.
“It provides an invaluable step towards realising your ambitions and I urge all of the players to continue to work hard, challenge yourselves to improve every day and that commitment will serve you well in football and in life.”
Maura McNeil, Head Teacher at Hyndland Secondary, was delighted that her School was the first to be recognised with this award, commenting: “To be the first school to receive the Award indicates how much progress our school has made in offering a quality football experience for our young people. Extra-curricular activites such as this play a key role in our young people’s development throughout the whole school and would not be possible without the support and dedication of our teaching staff who give up so much time to provide such important opportunities.”
The school has received great support from the local community with a number of small businesses making donations and sponsorship towards new kit for the school team. Local butcher James Allan sponsoring the junior strip and local restaurant The Hyndland Fox also sponsoring the school team’s (renamed The Hyndland Foxes) senior strips.
Following a competition to design the new kit, S2 student, Ciaran Cochrane’s design was chosen and subsequently produced. Other local businesses including Ivy Property, McCarthy Law and Paulo’s have also generously provided the teams with tracksuit tops, winter bench jackets and new footballs.
Science teacher, Mr Downie, who set up and runs the football teams at Hyndland Secondary School said: “I am delighted. Having not always had a football team when I myself was in school, I was determined that should pupils ask me as a teacher to help them set one up, then I would say yes. That’s what they did, and they have been fantastic. The award is a testament to the hard work, enthusiasm and commitment shown by our students in attending training and turning up for matches. I hope that they will replicate that positive attitude and hard work around the whole school and life in general. Hopefully this award will help us further develop football within the school moving forward, by continuing to gain additional coaching certificates for more staff and to help raise funds to purchase a school minibus.”
With such great recent success throughout the school, they are now looking to secure funds to help them purchase a minibus to help transport pupils to both extra curricular and educational trips. Joe Harkins, President of the Scottish Schools Football Association, who is arranging the presentation of the award, hopes it will encourage other schools across Scotland to also apply for the award: “We are delighted to award our very first Scottish Schools FA Quality Award to Hyndland Secondary School, Glasgow. “The main objectives of our Quality Award Programme are to provide regular organised football in schools for boys and girls at local and national levels as well as ensuring that these teams receive good quality coaching from teachers who have attained SFA coaching certificates. Now that our first Award is being made we hope that this encourages the many other schools who are already meeting our criteria to look to apply for one of our three levels of award - gold, silver or bronze - through the SSFA website or to work towards attaining the necessary SFA coaching qualifications to enable them to do so.”
The award will be presented to Hyndland Secondary this week, with local SPL team Partick Thistle also visiting the school for a special training session to help celebrate the award.