SPFL Trust – Football Powered Conference 2023

11 September 2023

SPFL Trust – Football Powered Conference 2023

SPFL Trust‘s annual Football Powered Conference took place at Celtic Park on Thursday 7 September, with representatives from 29 community trusts and clubs in attendance for a day of networking, learning and discussing the power of the beautiful game in Scotland. 

Delegates were joined by speakers from The EFL Trust, Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, The Poverty Alliance and Edinburgh Voluntary Organisation’s Council as well as Minister for Public Health and Women’s Health, Jenni Minto.

“The Scottish Government fully understands the importance of sport and physical activity for everyone in Scotland and the positive impact that this can have on people’s physical and mental health. Football is of course our national game with over 900,000 people involved in the community game across Scotland on a weekly basis. It is at the heart of every community – 83% of our population live within 10 miles of an SPFL ground. That’s over 4 and a half million people, but research also shows that those living closest to SPFL stadiums are also 3 times more likely to be living in poverty. You (community trusts and clubs) know the impact you can have on the lives of people in your communities, and I will take the opportunity whenever I can to raise awareness of this and to ensure that people understand football is so much more than what you read on the back pages.”

Jenni Minto, Minister for Public Health and Women’s Health

The conference also included a moment to hear about some of the work of four community trusts:

  • Lewis Melee, CEO at Hibernian Community Foundation, spoke about their work with Ukrainian communities in Scotland and supporting new Scots to integrate into their community
  • Derek Allison from Falkirk Foundation spoke about the work they do in their community and their Pathway to Success for young people
  • Donna-Marie Henry from Celtic FC Foundation shared examples of their current project delivery
  • Liz Bowie from Aberdeen FC Community Trust shared the success of their ‘Pittodrie Community Hub’ initiative.

The SPFL Trust were also joined by Scottish Football Marketing’s Commercial Director Brendan Napier, who stated his commitment to putting the work of the SPFL Trust and community trusts as a key part of future commercial opportunities.

The afternoon saw delegates engaging in a workshop with The Poverty Alliance, where they learned about the work they can do to help alleviate poverty, as well as a storytelling workshop, in which there were discussions about how to tell real, meaningful, Football Powered stories that inspire action.

“It was fantastic to see many representatives from community trusts and clubs around the country at our annual Football Powered Conference. It is important to take time to come together to discuss opportunities to work together effectively. We also saw many shining examples of great practice taking place across Scotland. I am reminded of the importance of the work that we do, but I’m also reminded that there is such potential to do even more.”

Nicky Reid, CEO at SPFL Trust

The SPFL Trust believes change can be Football Powered – and that they can do even more in the future.


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