FREE football activities for young people in the Wee County are launching soon thanks to the Coalfields Regeneration Trust.

As part of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust's (CRT) Game On sport for change programme in former mining communities in Scotland, Football 5ives are being set up and grants are being made available for strips and training kits.

Game on was unveiled in Scotland last year as part of CRT's work in helping mining communities recover from the devastating effects of pit closures by supporting a range of local initiatives.

Now that lockdown is easing, Football 5ives for players aged 11-16 or 12-17 will be starting in Alloa from April 23.

This involves free evening "turn up and play" football activity sessions to provide positive and engaging activities for young people.

The Alloa sessions will be held on Fridays from 6-8pm for 12-17 year olds at the Indodrill Stadium.

Through the direct delivery of sport-based activity Game On aims to address the growing health, skills and employment inequalities for boys and girls within coalfield communities across the country, many of which have been worsened by Covid-19 and lockdowns.

Applications for the Game on Gear Grant, which aims to get more young people from Scottish coalfield communities playing sport by reducing potential barriers, are open from April 1 and applications for grants of up to £500 can be made by all sports teams in coalfields communities.

Sean Laird, Game On development manager, said: "Our Game On initiative now running in Scotland aims to address poor health that affects many coalfields communities by getting people of all ages more active.

"We're encouraging sports clubs to apply for the Game On Gear Grant and we're hoping lots of young people will want to take part in our Football 5ives.

"As we emerge from the restrictions of lockdown, when many sporting activities had to be paused, now is a great time to get out and get active."

"We'll continue to work in partnership with others, including local authorities, the Scottish Football Association and Police Scotland, to develop many more regionally specific programmes in coalfields communities across Scotland."

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