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Tesco Bank to invest over £1million in helping Scottish kids get active

Tesco Bank, the UK's most successful supermarket bank, is planning to invest over £1 million in a new sports programme for primary school children.

This initiative will be the first in a programme of community support focussing on Scottish youth. It will use the power of football to get 7 and 8 year old primary school children active, not only at school but to establish long lasting activity week in week out. The aim is to reach 60,000 boys and girls of all levels and abilities across 1,600 primary schools across Scotland’s 32 local authorities. It will involve half a million coaching hours and every primary school in Scotland will have the opportunity to participate.

Benny Higgins, Tesco Bank CEO, went back to his roots to announce the scheme at the school which first inspired his passion for sport – St Brigid’s Primary in Glenmore Avenue, Toryglen, Glasgow.

He was joined by Alex Salmond, First Minister Scotland, Paul McStay, former Scotland captain and Celtic legend and the announcement also received support from Sir Alex Ferguson.

A pupil at St Brigid’s in the early seventies, Benny Higgins said, 

“Tesco aims to make a positive contribution to the countries and communities where we operate, both in the way we do business and by supporting community initiatives. As we are now a year old as Tesco Bank, headquartered and committed to Scotland, the time is right for us to develop a community programme.

“Football will be central to this programme, acting as a vehicle for fitness and the development of both physical and social skills. While it would be nice if we helped identify the next Paul McStay, that is not our primary objective. Instead, we want to see tens of thousands of boys and girls participating on a regular basis and having fun.”

First Minister Alex Salmond said, 

“This excellent programme will encourage boys and girls to get fit and active and to take an early interest in football and sport. Football is a springboard into other sports and a catalyst for raising awareness of the changes families and communities can make to their physical activity levels. I would like to commend Tesco Bank for making this scheme happen.

“The Scottish Government takes sport seriously. That’s why we have invested £5.7 million in football development, employment and supporter initiatives in 2008/09. Our association with the Active Nation Scottish Cup will encourage the wider community to get moving, and we will continue to work hard with all of our partners to develop sport at grassroots level and to encourage people of all ages to lead active, healthy lives and ensuring Scotland becomes an Active Nation. There is, however, much more to be done and Tesco Bank is due to make a significant contribution to that sporting future.”

Celtic legend Paul McStay, who captained the Scottish schoolboys international team before captaining Celtic and earning 76 caps for his country, told youngsters,

“It’s widely recognised that pupils at level P3 and P4 (7 and 8 years’ old) are the foundation level for football. It’s important to play early and taking up the sport early certainly helped my playing career. I was once a young schoolboy just down the road with a dream to do well and to play for my country. That dream came true thanks to my friends and colleagues and to school coaches who believed in me. I wish this scheme was available when I was a youngster.”

Sir Alex Ferguson has backed the Tesco Bank initiative, which is expected to run for the next four years. He said,

“I think this is a fabulous initiative which will involve thousands of boys and girls of all abilities. It offers not just the chance to take part in sport but also the opportunity to develop skills. It’s always in my heart that Scotland do well so we need to start improving the young kids up there and you have a great opportunity to do this now through Tesco Bank. We started this kind of scheme at Manchester United and it’s very influential to all the young players who come through the club.”

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For more information and media enquiries please contact:

Tesco Bank press office

+44 (0) 131 274 3630 

About Us:

Tesco Bank’s goal is to make banking and insurance easier and better value for people who shop at Tesco. We’ve been around since 1997 and today we help more than 5 million customers manage their money every day. Tesco Bank participates in the Chartered Banker Professional Standards Board.

Tesco Bank is a trading name of Tesco Personal Finance plc. Registered in Scotland No. SC173199. Registered Office: 2 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9FQ

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