SHAAP to sponsor girls' football in Scotland
Scottish Women’s Football (SWF) has launched their newest sponsorship agreement with Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP).
They will be the named sponsor of the National Performance League and NPL Cup, the elite level for girls' club football in Scotland, for the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
The sponsorship comes after SWF stated in 2016 that they would not ever accept sponsorship from gambling and alcohol companies.
The partnership is significant for a number of reasons, including the fact that SHAAP become the first sponsor of the SWF youth game and SWF become the first ever sporting organisation to be sponsored by SHAAP. It's also historic in that SWF and SHAAP's partnership is the first Scottish football sponsorship specifically aimed at tackling Scotland's alcohol problems.
Fiona McIntyre, Executive Officer for Scottish Women's Football, said: "We are delighted to be working with SHAAP. We have had a strong stance regarding alcohol sponsorship for a number of years now. Not only do we feel this is socially responsible as an organisation but we feel our stance has been financially justified and supported by the sponsors we have attracted to the game in recent years".
Dr. Eric Carlin, Director of SHAAP, which is based at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, said: "We are excited to be kicking off our partnership with SWF. We have lauded their stance on not accepting alcohol sponsorship since its announcement and we’re delighted to now be able to support them.
"This is a historic moment for SHAAP as SWF become our first ever sponsorship agreement. We hope that through this partnership we can raise awareness regarding alcohol problems in Scotland and encourage other organisations, sporting or otherwise, to reject alcohol sponsorship".
"We think that the National Performance League is the perfect opportunity to partner with SHAAP", said McIntyre. "These leagues (under 15s and under 19s) are part of the performance pathway for elite players within our youth game. They are the next generation of talent and we hope that such a partnership will be of great benefit to the game and allows us to promote positive messages around health and wellbeing".
The sponsorship will see an increase in coverage of the leagues and also research and education around alcohol for the teams, coaches and players within the National Performance League.
Dr. Peter Rice, Chair of SHAAP, said: "Another benefit to this sponsorship is that SHAAP will have the opportunity to research perceptions of alcohol use with those involved in the National Performance League, including the benefit of regular sporting activity.
"We are very excited about this partnership and look forward to publicising the findings of our research".