More Than Football Award 2023 Longlist: Falkirk Foundation – Centre Forward Project

20 June 2023

More Than Football Award 2023 Longlist: Falkirk Foundation – Centre Forward Project

The European Football for Development Network (EFDN) is proud to present the Falkirk Foundation‘s Centre Forward project, that has been selected for the longlist of the More than Football Award 2023.

The Centre Forward Programme, delivered in partnership with Forth Valley College, is designed for young people who have additional learning support needs and who wish to become more active whilst learning and developing their confidence. Combined with certificated SQA (Scottish Qualifications Authority) units, learners have a unique opportunity to take part in a range of on the pitch activities at Falkirk Stadium – encouraging practical learning and improving health and wellbeing at the same time. Students also benefit from real-life work placement opportunities


  • Develop confidence in young people with additional learning support needs
  • Provide qualifications and work experience opportunities to improve employment prospects
  • Increase mental health and physical wellbeing as part of a wider group
  • Support young people in their transition between education and the world of work with CV & interview assistance
  • Change perceptions and increase awareness of young people with additional support needs in the wider community

The project works with 24 young people per academic term, with each individual taking part will attend for 2.5 days a week for 16 hours over 36 weeks. The project uses sport and physical activity as a catalyst for promoting positive change through combining certificated SQA Units within curriculum areas such as sport, communication, problem-solving, and working with others. A unique aspect to this project is that the young people taking part, enrol as Forth Valley College students ensuring they can benefit from the full range of support services available including student advisors, learning resource centre, membership
of Students Association and the on-campus gyms.

Here is some feedback and statistics from a few participants:

“I feel a bit smart, this course is good – I can do it.”
“The teacher was wrong – I passed a College course.”
“I don’t sit all day on the Xbox, I go to College, have a job and playing football in an amateur team.”
“I have made new friends and get up every day not feeling angry any more.”

Centre Forward Participants
  • 100% of students completed the course
  • 100% of students improved their physical fitness
  • 100% completed practical work experience placements with local providers
  • 94% of students improved their health and mental wellbeing
  • 89% average attendance – extremely high for a group of vulnerable young people