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The Scottish Sport APPG have been strengthening its links with the Scottish Football Association by hearing from the Scotland Women’s Team head Coach Shelley Kerr on the recent success of the women’s game in Scotland and from the Scottish FA’s Danny Bisland (Scottish FA’s Club GROW Manager) who presented on the joint SCOTTISH FA/UEFA Social Return on Investment (SROI) report on the social and economic impact of the sport’s grassroots in Scotland.

The group spoke about the role it, and Members of Parliament more widely, can play in encouraging the community engagement that local football teams deliver on an unparalleled level as shown in the report.

At this week’s APPG meeting, the group of Scottish MP’s, alongside UK Government Minister for Sport, Mims Davies MP heard Kerr present and answer questions on how the women’s team in Scotland have achieved their unprecedented success of qualifying for the World Cup this summer, and on what more support was needed to continue to develop the women’s game in Scotland. Bisland explained the SROI report in detail and outlined what policy steps were needed to make football’s social return continue to grow.

Bisland explained the SROI report in detail and outlined what policy steps were needed to make football’s social return continue to grow.

Gavin Newlands MP, Chair of the APPG, commented:

“All sport in Scotland has lessons to learn from the women’s side’s outstanding success in qualifying for the World Cup. We all know just how important football is to Scotland, but Shelley and Danny brought home just how positive an impact the game can have on our physical and our mental health, our community engagement, and the pride we feel in our country.

“I am confident that following Shelley’s hugely inspiring and passionate talk and the insightful presentation on the social value of the game, the APPG will have a long and fruitful relationship with the SFA. I know that Scottish MPs are desperate to support the growth of the women’s game and the development of Scottish football in general.”

“The group would like to extend its very best wishes to Shelley and her squad for the upcoming warm up games against Brazil and Chile, and of course for the World Cup itself, when Scotland kick off their campaign with a game against England on June 8th. Having listened to Shelley, I’m sure they will do us all mightily proud.”

Shelley Kerr welcomed the new relationship between the Scottish FA and the APPG:

“From the outset, we’ve said as a team that we want to inspire a nation and be role models for young girls across Scotland. It’s been one of the main highlights for me in my time in this role, seeing the next generation of female footballers grow their love for the game.

“The women’s and girls’ game is growing massively across the country – you only need to look at the appetite for participation amongst young girls at a grassroots level. Our job is now to pinpoint how best we develop the game in Scotland for future generations and I’m really looking forward to helping that process move forward.”

Danny Bisland appreciated the opportunity to drive home the positive impact of the game in Scotland:

“Thanks to the Scottish Sport APPG for allowing us to showcase our innovative report, which allows us to place a value on football participation across the country. The Scottish FA are incredibly proud of the work carried out by the clubs in their communities and we want to work with our partners to help provide opportunities for growth in all areas of game.”

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