Young people from Route 81 Youth Project went to watch Scotland play at Hampden last weekend, thanks to the Tartan Army Children’s Charity.
The 14 young people each received a free Scotland football shirt, Scotland flag, £10 cash and a £5 food voucher from the charity, whose sole purpose is to help children up to and including the age of 16 at home and abroad.
Transport to the World Cup qualifier against Slovenia was funded by the chair of Route 81, allowing the young people to travel in comfort and style.
On arrival at Hampden, the group was met by the sound of the bagpipes and Jim Hart, chairperson of the TACC.
When it was discovered that one of the group, Andrew, aged 16, was also a bagpiper, he was handed the pipes and stood in front of the Hampden stadium entrance playing Flower of Scotland to the hundreds of cheering passing fans!
Kyle, aged 12, said: “Andrew’s piping was great and was one of the best bits of the whole trip!”
When asked to summarise their experience, Jack, also aged 12, said: “I was so happy to get on this trip as it was my first time ever seeing my national team.
“The match was really exciting and the best match I have ever watched. The best bit was when Scotland scored in the 88th minute! I would like to say thank you because the match was a dream to go to!”
Michael, aged 14, added: “I was really excited to hear I had got on the Scotland football match trip and when I found out I got a football top too, I was so happy.
“The atmosphere was brilliant, especially when Chris Martin scored! I want to say thank you so much to TACC for all the goodies and money. This has made me want to go to more Scotland matches!”
Trainee youth worker, 17 year-old Dillon MacDonald, summed it up: “It was great to see the young people experience their first ever Scotland match. Seeing them experience the atmosphere was electric and a privilege.”
Route 81 Youth Project is based in Centre 81, Garelochhead, and is open to all 11-18 year olds within the catchment of Hermitage Academy, offering a free drop-in facility every Wednesday and Friday night, plus other opportunities.