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Sport / National women’s football organisation supports upgrading Shetland’s facilities

Scottish Women's Football CEO Aileen Campbell and Shetland Girls Football Club secretary Adam Priest at the Clickimin pitch. Photo: SWF

SCOTTISH WOMEN’S Football (SWF) has shared its support for the possible upgrade of a pitch in Lerwick which could allow fixtures and training all year round.

CEO Aileen Campbell recently visited the isles and met coaches from Shetland Girls Football Club.

The former MSP and government minister has now written to Shetland Islands Council to show her support for an all-weather synthetic pitch at Clickimin, after councillors decided to progress with funding bids last week.

External funding to be explored for synthetic pitch in Lerwick

The 3G (third generation) pitch would be made of synthetic turf and could allow sport to be played all year round.

Campbell said: “I was really impressed to hear about the significant growth of the women’s game in Shetland, driven by a team of dedicated and committed volunteers.

“It is crucial that SWF does what it can to help support opportunities for girls and women to play and remove barriers where we can, and those barriers are mostly keenly felt by our island communities.

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“That’s why it’s vital that the facilities across Scotland’s local authorities match the ambition shown to grow the game.

“With new sponsors ScottishPower backing the Highlands and Islands league, we discussed how we could work towards potentially incorporating a Shetland team into that structure, and the next Island Games in Orkney in 2025 could be a huge opportunity to build football opportunities across all our islands.

“I was so grateful to everyone from the club to take the time to chat with me, show me their plans and to start to work together for the betterment of girls’ and women’s football in Shetland – the potential is great and the opportunities ahead exciting.”

Senior Shetland player Rhea Nicolson said: “My experience of playing football in Shetland is that we need more regularity of football and an array of ways for women to take part.

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“By joining with the girls club, Shetland Women have the chance to inspire young girls to recognise that at all ages and stages, there is a place for them and they can continue that love of football.

“We would love to attract women who used to play and those that are interested in giving it a go.

“The mums that drop off their daughters to football training should consider joining up themselves!”

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