The Hamilton Academical FC elite youth academy coaches have become the first football club in Scotland to take part in specialist training to support young people in overcoming challenges in their lives.
The 20 coaches were joined by Academy Director George Cairns and Chief Executive Colin McGowan who also took part in the course run by the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit.
The SVRU is a Police Scotland national centre of expertise.
Speaking after the event McGowan said: “It’s great to have these guys in to work with our coaches. This is something we have been wanting to do since the beginning of the year and we have developed a fantastic relationship with the unit.
“We believe there is a real benefit in working closely with the unit and we look forward to doing just that in the coming months.”
Academy Director George Cairns believes courses like these give the club’s coaches the tools to effectively support the children they work with.
He said: “The priority of this academy is to encourage the healthy development of the kids involved as people first and foremost. If they become good footballers that’s a bonus. For us to do our best for these young footballers as people we need to improve our own knowledge and understanding and courses like these help to do just that.”
SVRU project manager Kirsty Giles praised the club for their progressive approach: “We are thrilled to be supporting Hamilton FC. It’s so important for those who work with young people to understand how challenging circumstances can affect them. We all have a part to play in ensuring young people are as resilient as possible. It’s an incredible opportunity to work in partnership with a football club which is putting their relationships with children and families first.”