Since 2014, the University of Stirling and Falkirk Ladies football club have began a unique partnership in Scottish Women’s Sport which sees the University provide high performance support, coaching and scholarships in women’s football. Grassroots and participation opportunities are also catered for students and females in the local community through this unique partnership. In 2015, the partnership is represented in the Scottish Women’s Premier League (SWPL). The University's SWPL team compete against teams including Celtic, Rangers, Hearts, Hibernian, Aberdeen and current champions Glasgow City. The winners of the SWPL qualify for the group stages of the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
A grant issued by the Stirling Fund was used to contribute to the programme by part financing the strength and conditioning, and goalkeeping provision offered to the team. Not only has this enhanced the performance support but the award has allowed the team to meet strict Scottish FA Elite Club Licensing criteria with regards to amount and quality of service. Stirling's goalkeeping coach is a current student at the University and this creates further opportunities for students by enhancing their employability when they graduate.
The Stirling Fund has helped to provide some essential support not only enhance the performance level of these young female athletes, but indeed raise the profile of women’s football at the University and enticing a number of new recruits.
Chloe Logan, 2nd year Sports Studies student, Scotland U19 goalkeeper