Ayr United

Poverty could prevent child mascot opportunities

by Ryan Brown

For many young football fans in Scotland, their dream would be to walk out onto the pitch alongside their favourite player but some may be held back by poverty.

Locally, Ayr United offer a match day mascot package at £135, however, in the Premiership, Heart of Midlothian charge as much as £300 for their experience, double the price of their city rivals Hibernian.

The Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) aims to prevent and solve poverty and the negative impact it can have on lives.

John Dickie, Director of CPAG, said: “With one in four children in Scotland growing up in Poverty, we encourage all organisations to think about and reflect on the opportunities they provide to ensure that children from lower income families don’t miss out.

“It is important that everyone seeks to reduce costs to allow all children to participate in events or activities.”

Figures from the Scottish Government show that, in 2019, average weekly earnings sat at £576, therefore a high percentage of weekly income would be needed to make a child a team mascot based on these averages.

Prices set at these high levels could be turning away many children from less fortunate backgrounds.

Despite some clubs setting the price high, Aberdeen, Celtic and Rangers do not charge and instead offer young members a day to remember for free.

However, with numerous Premiership and Championships clubs taking a fee from mascots, it is only inevitable that with a quarter of Scotland’s children experiencing poverty, some will be denied their chance to meet their idols due to a lack of finances.

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