Young people in Renfrewshire will enjoy a ‘festival of football’ at St Mirren Park thanks to a unique partnership.
The local Street Stuff programme and the national Bank of Scotland Midnight League initiative are teaming up to hold a five-a-side tournament at the stadium on Tuesday 12 May.
Up to 500 players aged 10-16 are expected to show their skills on the pitch.
Street Stuff is an award-winning programme diverting young people away from possible antisocial behaviour, which has lowered youth disorder rates across Renfrewshire.
Bank of Scotland Midnight League is a national network of 5-a-side football supported by the Scottish Football Association (SFA). SFA coaches will team up with Street Stuff co-ordinators to run the festival.
The tournament has received funding from the CashBack for Communities initiative which takes money recovered under the Proceeds of Crime Act and invests it back into local communities.
An SFA spokesperson said: “We are delighted to be partnering Street Stuff for the first joint finals between the two projects. The Midnight League project offers a comprehensive range of opportunities for 12-16 year old boys and girls throughout Scotland to participate in five-a-side football. The Finals are a great highlight for Midnight Leagues as it gives participants the opportunity to play in a competitive environment within the top stadia in Scotland.
“The Bank of Scotland Midnight League programme is focused on improving the lifestyle of its young participants through encouragement of responsible behaviour and hence contributing to the development of safer and stronger communities.”
St Mirren Chief Executive Brian Caldwell added: “The club is always keen to play a part in the local community and events like this are great for the youngsters.
“I’m sure we will see a great standard of football on the evening and who knows, maybe some St Mirren stars of the future will be among those taking part?”
Young people aged 10-16 who wish to play can download a sign-up sheet from www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/