Euro 2024: Every primary school class in Glasgow to receive a new football ahead of the Euros

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Every primary school class in Glasgow will receive a brand new football ahead of the Euros thanks to close to 100 kids and family members who dribbled a ball from Scotstoun to Hampden. 

The event was part of the charity efforts of Scotstoun-based football hub On The Ball Academy who have pledged to raise £15,000 to gift 1,095 footballs before Scotland face Germany in Munich – which is 1,095 miles from Glasgow – on June 14. 

And their fundraising efforts received a major boost thanks to donations from a number of Scotland stars past and present, including Scott Brown, James Forrest and Ryan Christie. Rangers defender Connor Goldson pledged support by donating a signed shirt, while Celtic star Greg Taylor gave up a signed pair of boots to support the fundraising efforts, commenting the initiative was an “extraordinary opportunity for kids in the city”. 

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Mark F Gibson / Gibson Digital

The initiative, which is in partnership with Glasgow City Council’s education department, will create a legacy for children in the city in the lead up to Euro 2024. 

On the Ball’s CEO and founder Ryan Docherty, a former Celtic youth hopeful who played under Tommy Burns, said: “There will be a lot of passion and enthusiasm from young Glasgwegians for football this summer – we don’t want anything to stand in the way of that. 

“There are a lot of circumstances that can cause young people to take the wrong path. Through football, we want to support the community and help to transform lives, helping children across Glasgow overcome the challenges they face. 

“Giving kids a ball seems like a small gesture, but resources are stretched and these balls will be played with by thousands and thousands of kids,  many of whom come from underprivileged backgrounds. This is opening the door to the positive life experiences football can bring, it’s about so much more than just about finding the next Andy Robertson – although that would be great too!” 

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Ryan, who is also first team coach at Pollok FC, added: “We have developed this project through our unwavering commitment to supporting children and families throughout Glasgow to improve their mental and physical well being and we are very grateful to Glasgow City Council Education department for their support, which will ensure that every single classroom in Glasgow has access to a football at the kickoff of Euro2024.”

Last year, the academy launched an employability programme to provide jobs for school leavers across the north west of Glasgow, and a clothes collection initiative which donated more than 100 bags of cold weather kit and boots during winter to benefit local children in need.

On The Ball, which delivers more than 1,000 free hours of coaching each year, serves as a feeder club to some of Scotland’s biggest professional clubs,  with 25 of its members going into the professional environment at clubs including Rangers and Celtic. 

Next Friday (June 14) on the opening day of the Championships, On the Ball will host a school festival for primary 7 pupils across Glasgow,  facilitating football for more than 600 kids, including 150 young people with disabilities and additional support needs.

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