Celtic and Rangers launch community initiative with kickabout on Glasgow Airport runway
21 March 2013
Celtic and Rangers have officially launched a new community coaching initiative on the tarmac at Glasgow Airport.
Four youngsters from schools in Clydebank and Drumchapel represented each club in a short kickabout in the most unusual of locations to celebrate a partnership between the airport and the community departments of both clubs.
Glasgow Airport is committing £50,000 from its FlightPath Fund towards the cost of expanding educational youth football programmes in the two areas, with an additional 280 young people set to benefit from more than 40 hours of coaching and workshops.
Pupils from Clydebank High and Drumchapel High were put through their paces by coaches from each club before taking part in a practice match on a mobile pitch supplied by Glasgow City Council’s Community safety Services.
The community departments of Celtic and Rangers work together in a series of projects across the city designed to tackle anti-social behaviour and sectarianism, while also increasing the number of young people taking part in physical activity.
The Glasgow Airport award will deliver 45 football-orientated sessions for children between the ages of 12 and 18. The idea is to provide diversionary activities by holding these at evenings and weekends, when the incidence of youth disorder is highest.
In addition to the football games and coaching on offer, there is an educational focus with workshops tackling issues such as alcohol, drugs and sectarianism.
Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: “The interest in these two clubs is so huge that it is sometimes easy to focus on the headlines they generate on the pitch and overlook the wonderful work they do in communities throughout Glasgow.
“Both clubs have a successful track record of delivering community programmes and while these create a fun environment for young people, there is also a strong focus on the outcomes.
“These include increased self-esteem, confidence, aspiration and community spirit among the participants, and a reduction in youth disorder.
“The FlightPath Fund was established to bring benefits to the communities which lie under the flightpath, and these are exactly the kind of outcomes we look for during the selection process. We were therefore delighted to support this project and wish it every success.”
There is also an incentive for youngsters to demonstrate positive behaviour and attainment during the programme, with tours of both clubs’ stadiums and match tickets up for grabs for those who can demonstrate they have learned the most.
Rangers community coach Gary Gibson said: “Rangers Football Club is thrilled to be entering into this partnership with Glasgow Airport, a collaboration which will see even more young people join our award winning Community Programme.
“The club remains wholeheartedly committed to initiatives like this which make a significant difference to the lives of a wide range of people, none of which would be possible without the investment by community-focused organisations like Glasgow Airport.
“This specific project builds on a great deal of success already achieved in this locality through a partnership with the West Area Committee within Glasgow City Council, and it will see hundreds more young people benefiting from a series of coaching sessions and educational workshops.”
Celtic football development officer Brian Delaney said: “Celtic has always been much more than a football club and has always had an appreciation of its wider social responsibility. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Glasgow Airport’s FlightPath Fund to develop and deliver a programme which will tackle a number of important issues.
“We and our partners have a special opportunity to help young people in their formative years in order to assist with their development to become good citizens. We are delighted to support this programme as we aim to make a positive difference to the lives of young people.
“Vital areas such as self-respect, self-esteem & confidence along with respect for others are just some of the ways in which we hope these young people will feel better about themselves both during and after the programme. Again, we are delighted to be taking part in the programme which will hopefully allow everyone who takes part to have a positive experience.”
• Glasgow Airport is funding this project through its FlightPath Fund, which supports community groups, charitable organisations and innovative projects with positive outcomes in three areas – education, employment and the environment.
• The FlightPath Fund is a community funding programme established in 2010 to ensure surrounding communities share in the airport’s success.
• It has awarded in excess of £500,000 to more than 150 community groups and charities. In 2012 the FlightPath Fund made awards totalling more than £200,000.
• The FlightPath Fund supports communities in parts of Glasgow, Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire and West Dunbartonshire
• The FlightPath Fund is governed by an independent committee, chaired by retired financial professional Archie Hunter.
• Each of the four local authority areas which lie under the flightpath is represented on the committee.
• Funding is drawn from the Communities Trust, charity collection boxes in the terminal, and a donation from Glasgow Airport based on annual financial performance.