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Renfrewshire schoolkids will be able to enjoy a free trip to the football this season – after St Mirren gifted a set of season tickets to every primary school in the area

Each of the schools has been given four season tickets for the Tony Fitzpatrick Family Stand at the SMISA Stadium for them to hand out within their school community.

The club made the offer – thought to be among the first of its kind in the country – as part of a wider push to build stronger links with the Renfrewshire community and encourage the next generation of fans to come to games.

That includes their Help a Buddie scheme where fans can pay for a seat for someone in the community who may not otherwise be able to afford it.

The free school season tickets covers all 50 primary schools in Renfrewshire plus Riverbrae and Mary Russell additional support needs schools.

The scheme was put into action for St Mirren’s home win over Hibs at the weekend and will remain in place for all remaining home Premiership games this season.

Pupils from Renfrewshire schools caught up with some of the club’s first-team squad at the stadium this week to help launch the scheme, along with the council’s convener for Education and Children’s Services, Councillor Emma Rodden

Councillor Rodden said: “The offer of more than 200 free season tickets is a very generous one by St Mirren and we were delighted to accept.

“St Mirren are already at the heart of the local community with their existing partnership with the council through the Street Stuff youth activity programme and through the work of their charitable foundation, and this will strengthen the relationship between the club and our schools.

“But most importantly it will be good for our pupils – by encouraging their interest in sport and fitness, as well as opening up the chance of a free afternoon out that may not otherwise be affordable to everyone.”

St Mirren chief operating officer Keith Lasley said: “St Mirren Football Club want to be at the heart of our local community and use the platform we have for good.

“Offering season tickets to all primary schools throughout Renfrewshire is just one of the many steps we are taking in fully engaging with the local community as we aim to strengthen the existing ties we already have.

“We look forward to welcoming pupils from across Renfrewshire and hope they enjoy the action at the SMiSA Stadium this season.”

Schools will decide for themselves how to distribute the tickets for each game, whether by application or prize draw. This could include them being given to different families each week, or for a staff member or appropriately-qualified adult volunteer to accompany a group of pupils.

Any local parents interested in the scheme should contact their child’s school for more information.