Midnight LeagueDate: Sunday, 14th Aug 2005
Transport giant Stagecoach is backing Dunfermline Athletic FC’s successful football initiative to give local teenagers a healthy alternative to life on the streets.
The Scottish-based bus operator has agreed to sponsor the club’s Midnight League for the 2005-06 season.
The innovative community project will give youngsters aged 16 to 18 the chance to play football at Dunfermline’s East End Park stadium between 10pm and Midnight, avoiding the dangers of being drawn into anti-social behaviour.
Research by SPL clubs has shown that teenagers taking part in the football sessions are less likely than others to offend and crime levels during the league games have been reduced.
Dunfermline Athletic’s Jim Leishman commented:“ We feel our role is very much that of a community based club. We are always looking for new partners to come on board and this allows us to extend our programmes for the benefit of the local community. Stagecoach’s backing of this project means that DAFC can now develop the Midnight League working along side Fife Police and Social Services.”
Steven Stewart, Stagecoach Group’s Head of Media and Public Affairs, said: “Stagecoach is a major part of communities across Fife, where we run lifeline bus services. We have a strong track record of supporting young people, who are the future of our country.
“We hope our backing for the Midnight League will help local youngsters be their best. As well as staying fit and out of trouble, sport is a great way to learn important skills that can help you achieve success in your life.”
PC Steven Miller from Fife Police Community Team said, “I have been involved in similar projects run at East End Park in recent times and I have seen first hand the opportunity this initiative offers youngsters. From research it has also been shown that projects aimed at youth diversion benefit the local community. Fife Constabulary is delighted that Dunfermline Athletic and Stagecoach are working together in this project and local officers will continue to provide support”.
The Midnight League will start in September and will benefit at least sixty kids each session.