Inverness side Balloan FC have offered their kit budget to citizens who are struggling to make ends meet during the coronavirus pandemic.
Days before the lockdown, club secretary James Fraser and other members of the Balloan hierarchy and training staff bought almost 200 mini balls and hundreds of cones from their funds.
They then invited players from all age categories to come and collect a ball and six cones, so that all players would have a chance to practise and play football at home.
Since then they have been posting several practise drills per week that the players can do with their new equipment at home.
The club prides itself on being one of the top teams in the Inverness Street League, having 180 registered players at the club over three different age categories.
It is also a club that takes its’ community responsibility seriously with lots of events such as bag packing at local supermarkets and race nights, so as well as playing and winning lots of football games every season, being at Balloan keeps a player busy.
After an online meeting with other senior members at the club, it was agreed that the team’s kit budget should be offered as funds to people who need it.
They announced on their Facebook page that if anybody knew someone who is struggling to pay for bills or food or other essential needs, the club would be able to help cover them.
The Highland side will also soon be announcing that the remaining kit budget will be be used to fund online study aids for pupils who are struggling to study at home. This is still being set up and organised but will enable pupils to access accounts which will make online education easier and give pupils more ways to enhance their skills and education whilst in lockdown.
Balloan aren’t a rich club and they aren’t a big club. They’re a club that appreciates it’s supporters and the community which most of their players come from. They do what they can to thank them for coming and watching the kids whatever the weather or wherever the location.
These are strange times and some may say that football is irrelevant during this crisis, but for those in need grassroots clubs like Balloan, with an ear to the ground and strong community contacts, have shown that they are in a unique position to help.