FORRES Mechanics Youth Development has been awarded £5000, top prize in the Tesco Bags of Help initiative for January.
Bags of Help is an initiative funded by Tesco from the plastic bag charge, designed to support worthy causes in local communities.
Each month three local causes are selected from applications, going into competition against each other for prizes of £5000, £2000 and £1000.
The cash distribution is decided by shoppers who place counters in their chosen pots near the supermarket checkouts.
More than 60 local players aged from 12 to 16 years develop skills, learn respect and are advised on how to stay mentally and physically healthy.
Guided by a band of 10 SFA qualified volunteer coaches, the lads train twice-a-week, playing games on Sundays at Mosset Park and Roysvale.
Head of Mechanics Youth Development, Charlie Brown, was thrilled to hear they had won the funding.
He said: “This is a brilliant boost to our lads and coaches. We thank Tesco for the opportunity to participate but most of all a huge thank you to our supporters in Forres and beyond who voted for us in such large numbers.
“The Mechanics prides itself as being a team at the centre of its community and to receive this kind of backing from mums, dads, grandparents and kids is just tremendous.”
Brown added that the funds will help meet the running costs of youth development, around £10,000 annually. Costs include strips and training gear, transport to venues across the Highlands including Wick and Fort William, and hiring training facilities during the dark winter months. The last item is one which has cost the club dear over many years.
Brown said: “Our coaches and superb parent helpers are dedicated to developing a centre of footballing excellence in the community, and we are making great strides towards this goal.
“However, it is unbelievable that a community the size of Forres has no floodlit area suitable for multi-sport training. As a result, we will be putting money towards the purchase of high quality mobile lighting so that the lads can train in Forres and the equipment can be used by other clubs such as the Harriers at the Forres Sports Hub.”
Forres Mechanics Youth Development are looking for shirt sponsors for next season.