Spartans Community Football Academy
The Spartans Community Football Academy (Spartans) is the home of Scotland’s best known amateur football team and enjoys a high profile within the City of Edinburgh and beyond. Since 2007, the community aspects of Spartans work (including work with youth teams and the wider local community) has been consolidated and expanded into a brand new £4.6m Community Football Academy, being run as a Social Enterprise, situated on land in the North of Edinburgh in the heart of the communities of Pilton, Royston and Granton.
Spartans use football as a channel to develop health, skills and inspire young people to think differently about themselves, building their confidence and inspiring them to achieve their life goals.
Such a wide range of community programmes have been created and delivered by the Academy, as well as in partnership with other local community groups. For example, the Friday FooTEA Club where at least 30 primary school aged children from the local area come to the Academy where they can play football, indoor games and enjoy a hot nutritious meal.
Spartans also works in the community using a portable pitch (it’s Street Fit-Baw outreach programme) helping to reduce youth related nuisance calls, crime rates and making North Edinburgh a better place to live and grow up. The organisation also does considerable work with young people in schools delivering coaching sessions, homework clubs together with the support of staff. It also provides learning and educational opportunities, work placements for local schools and delivers the Academy Ambassadors mentoring programme for young volunteers.
In 2011, SIS provided finance to build an extension to the Spartan’s property providing additional changing facilities to help increase pitch usage, internal storage, a new catering area, as well as increased café space with the ability to host large scale private functions. Spartans now sustains 10 members of staff and have exciting plans for their future which include using the extension for training events, offering increased catering provision for various events, expanding their Street Fit-Baw program and increasing their youth work provision.