Scottish gay-friendly football club Saltire Thistle will be hosting a fundraising night on Saturday 14th November.
The Glasgow-based Gay Football Supporters’ Network (GFSN) League champions will be holding the race night event to coincide with the opening game of the new GFSN season in which they will seek to defend their historic league and cup double.
Thistle finished the 2014-15 season undefeated in the league, and secured their first ever GFSN Cup with a narrow win over fellow Scots Hotscots FC.
They will kick off their defence of their title with a home game against Nottingham Lions, who finished as runners-up to Thistle last year and who will be fancying their chances of being able to put together a championship chllenge this season.
The fundraising event will be held at Glasgow’s Underground Bar, in John Street, and will start at 7.30pm. Underground have been Thistle’s sponsors for the last four years, and have been instrumental in the club’s successes to date.
In addition to the race night, the club will be holding a raffle with a number of excellent prizes promised – including a bottle of whisky signed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Thistle’s LGBTI Officer, Dan Twist, told KaleidoScot that attendance is not required to participate: “If people want to buy a horse in one of the races they can contact us and buy a horse for £5 – if their horse wins they’ll win a bottle of spirits!”
Craig Robertson, chair of the Saltire Thistle events committee, explained to KaleidoScot why the fudnraiser is so important to the club.
He said: “The primary focus of a football team is victory on the pitch. However, without the fudnraising work in the background amateur clubs such as Saltire Thistle, who cannot rely on gate takings, would struggle on every level to even function.
“Fundraising enables the purchase of kits, balls, training and playing venues, as well as help with costs for players when travelling across the UK in the GFSN league and cup competitions. Without the money we raise at events like this, and in partnership with our very supportive sponsor Underground Bar, none of that would be possible and the club may not be as successful as we have been – indeed we may not have survived at all.
“Additionally, the social element of fundraising events helps bring the team together and solidify the bond that is essential for a well functioning football team to succeed.”
In addition to playing in the UK-wide GFSN League, Saltire Thistle also compete in the Glasgow Community and Co-operative League.
Saltire Thistle take on Nottingham Lions at the Toryglen Regional Football Centre on Saturday 14th November, with a 2.00pm kick-off.