The Scottish FA has launched its new ‘Football Saved My Life’ video series, telling the story about how grassroots football impacts lives in powerful, positive ways.
The series will see members of the Scottish grassroots football community highlight the ways in which football has helped them to overcome significant challenges in their personal lives.
Coinciding with UEFA Grassroots Week, the first video sees Paul McNeill explain how football acted as a positive influence in his life from a young age, during which time he dealt with issues such as bullying as a result of his dyslexia and his father’s suicide.
Paul’s story details how grassroots volunteers helped him maintain a positive attitude throughout his life – and how he now strives to pass that positivity on to the younger generation.
Now a coach to his own son’s youth team, Paul stresses the impact of the work of the game’s unsung heroes across the country.
“I have been so lucky over the years to meet some fantastic volunteers involved in all my grassroots clubs,” he said. “They have all had a massive impact on my life, and by giving up their own time they gave me an opportunity to participate in a sport I love. For that, I will be forever grateful. Football is one of the more powerful tools we have in this country to make a difference to society.
“People of all ages and backgrounds get the opportunity to participate in football, make friends, stay active and learn some many life skills I don’t think there’s another sport in the world that can make such a positive impact on people’s lives and society.”