Scottish meeting underlines growth of grassroots

UEFA grassroots ambassador Per Omdal said the will of national associations to share and adapt is benefiting the European grassroots as Scotland hosted the latest SGS seminar.

Delegates on the pitch at Kilmarnock's Rugby Park
Delegates on the pitch at Kilmarnock's Rugby Park ©SFA

The latest UEFA Study Group Scheme seminar in Scotland has emphasised the positive impact of the revamped UEFA Grassroots Charter on football across the UEFA's member associations.

The gathering in Kilmarnock was the ninth UEFA Study Group Scheme (SGS) seminar in what is the seventh season of the initiative, featuring an exchange of grassroots expertise and experiences. The FAs of Hungary, Poland, Serbia, Cyprus, Slovenia and Republic of Ireland were the visitors. UEFA's global aims and progress were subsequently discussed in a meeting of the UEFA Grassroots Panel.

Scottish Football Association (SFA) chief executive Stewart Regan opened the seminar with a presentation on the importance of strategic planning and there was a focus on laying the foundations for football throughout the week. The hosts also shared details on their school and community projects as well as their aims to keep active players in Scotland, playing in a positive environment.

The Football in School project was also presented to the UEFA Grassroots Panel at the end of the week with data currently being studied in order for a clear overview of the status of schools football in Europe to be known at the end of the SGS season.

"First of all, I think that the panel has done a great job in developing and implementing the new charter," said UEFA grassroots ambassador Per Omdal. "I realised during the Study Group Scheme in Kilmarnock that it has been very well received by the national associations. I think that we are about to professionalise grassroots football.

"We have the same references when we speak about grassroots football and a common understanding, which represents an important improvement. The will of the national association to catch ideas and adapt best practice examples is very valuable for football in Europe."

This year will see a new concept launched for UEFA Grassroots Week, which will now be linked to the European Commission's European week of sport which aims to emphasise the health benefits of participating in sport as well as promoting physical activity. During the second week of September, UEFA will donate a maxi-pitch to Brussels to commemorate the event.

For more on the European week of sport, click here.