Grant cash will boost initiatives

ARBROATH Football Club has received a funding grant of £11,269 from the Scottish Communities League Cup sponsorship programme.

The money, raised through the Scottish Government’s sponsorship of the 2012/13 Scottish Communities League Cup, will be used to directly fund and support two of the Red Lichties’ community-engagement initiatives.

The first, Arbroath FC’s Lively Lichties fitness initiative, has proved extremely popular with the local community since it was launched in January this year and will benefit from the bulk of the grant.

Aimed at targeted demographic groups, the 10-week rolling Lively Lichties programmes are designed to improve the health, fitness and wellbeing of participants from the Arbroath community.

The first Lively Lichties initiative, which is free and consists of a two-hour weekly session, was aimed at males aged between 30 and 60 years old.

Inductees who signed up for the inaugural Lively Lichties course are already reaping the benefits through achievements in weight loss goals, increased fitness levels and improvements to their general health.

The Scottish Communities League Cup funding will support further Lively Lichties programmes throughout the year and pay for branded training kits for those taking part.

Arbroath FC will also use the funding to continue its support of the Goals Project, aimed at helping unemployed young people aged 16 and over to enhance their skills, confidence, and qualifications in order to improve their employment chances.

Both Lively Lichties and the Goals Project are organised and delivered in partnership with Arbroath-based charity CAFE Project.

Anne McKeown, Arbroath board member, said: “The benefits of receiving this grant funding are considerable – both for the football club and the community of Arbroath.

“Our football club has always enjoyed a strong relationship with the community it serves. In partnership with the CAFE Project, this funding will allow us to reach out even further to those disadvantaged and deserving members of the Arbroath community who need it most.

“We are very grateful to receive this significant funding from the Scottish Communities League Cup.”

This year, the Scottish Government’s sponsorship of the Cup has increased 70 per cent to the tune of £1.7 million, £473,311 of which is from the Cashback for Communities programme.

Each of the 42 SPL and SFL clubs was invited to bid for individual packages of £11,269, which could be used to create new opportunities for people to participate in sport and to help support on-going community engagement programmes.

The Cup’s community funding is designed to help strengthen links between clubs and communities, which ties in with the Scottish Government’s drive to get more young people involved in sport and other physical activities.

The Cashback initiative invests money seized from criminal activity back into Scotland’s communities and, since the programme’s inception in 2007, more than 600,000 young people across Scotland have benefited.

The Scottish Communities League Cup, was won 3-2 by St Mirren on Sunday.