Players linked to four of the county’s senior football clubs taking part in the inaugural Lanarkshire Supercounty Under-17s Trophy competition are to receive a month’s free pass to leisure facilities across North Lanarkshire.
The event, which is co-sponsored by NHS Lanarkshire as part of Celebrating Lanarkshire 2013, aims to encourage young people to become more involved in physical activity as part of their normal day life, while fostering, promoting and developing youth football.
Blane Dodds, chief executive of North Lanarkshire Leisure (NLL), said: “We are delighted to be able to support this competition by providing strength and conditioning training.
“This is becoming a more important part of developing top athletes in today’s highly competitive game who will go on to compete at the highest level.”
The competition will kick-off at noon on Saturday at Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility’s indoor pitch when Motherwell take on Clyde, then at 2.30pm Airdrieonians face Hamilton Accies.
The play-off for third spot will take place on Saturday, December 14, with the final and cup presentation to follow.
Admission is free, with a half-time collection in aid of the Scottish Steelworkers’ Memorial Fund who are planning to build a memorial statue at the Ravenscraig Facility to pay tribute to the men who lost their lives in the Scottish steel industry.
Councillor Jim Logue, chairman of NLL, said: “The fact that the matches are being played at Ravenscraig is significant, since Ravenscraig played such an important role by employing thousands of Lanarkshire residents in the former steelworks.”
Neena Mahal, chairwoman of NHS Lanarkshire, added: “I am delighted with NLL’s gesture of free Access NL passes for these young people and hope they will make full use of the facilities available while encouraging their friends to join them.
“Health-wise, we need to educate and involve young people in regular exercise, and this project with the bonus passes has the potential to realise that target.”