THE Livingston Youth Foundation is proving a huge success in West Lothian as dozens of local children continue to enjoy top-level football coaching in connection with their local club.
Livingston FC support the foundation, which is an independent registered charity, and help coach kids aged five to 12 twice a week at Almondvale Stadium.
Those enrolled in the foundation get free entry to Livingston first-team matches, plus free training kit and intense coaching on technical skills.
The aim is to help produce players for the Livingston youth academy and to ensure youngsters within the West Lothian community engage with health and fitness on a regular basis.
Former Livingston captain Stuart Lovell, a trustee of the Livingston Youth Foundation, said: “Having been at Livingston in 2004 when they went into administration, which happened again after I left, I’ve seen the knock-on effect of how academies can just collapse when clubs hit the skids.
“We wanted to create a charitable foundation that will allow the youths to flourish and create a pathway for them to progress. None of our trustees are paid – we’re all here voluntarily – so I hope people understand it’s for the good of the area.
“Our strategic plan for this season, and going forward, centres around some key aims.
“There are some very strong communities around West Lothian with some very strong community football clubs. We want to work in tandem with them to help grassroots football. Developing elite players is another aim. We work separately from Livingston Football Club, but there is a clear synergy there. We also undertake charitable activities.
“We aim to use football as an activity to promote the education, health and development of members of the West Lothian community.
“In any good major town or city, the football club is a major focal point. We attended a forum for boys’ clubs in West Lothian and there was some suspicion about what the foundation is about. No-one here wants to make money from people for their own personal gain. We want to get the message out that the foundation is here for the people of West Lothian.”
For more information on the Livingston Youth Foundation, visit www.lyf4football.org.uk