IT was all smiles in the Celtic Park boardroom as Jay Beatty signed on to be an official ambassador for Celtic FC Foundation for season 2015/16.
Wee Jay has become a firm favourite with the Hoops faithful ever since former Celt Georgios Samaras spontaneously embraced him pitch-side on trophy day of last year.
The Lurgan Bhoy has experienced first-hand Celtic FC Foundation’s growing Ability Counts programme and joined participants as a team mascot for last December’s SPFL home encounter with St Mirren.
In partnership with Down’s Syndrome Scotland, Celtic FC Foundation’s Ability Counts programme features weekly football coaching and dance elements designed to foster and promote inclusion, diversity and friendship between the children involved through a common goal and interest.
Celtic FC Foundation’s priority is to focus on the four key themes of improving health, promoting equality, encouraging learning and tackling poverty and we have a strong track record of delivering successful community-based projects.
In his role as official ambassador, Wee Jay will focus on promoting Celtic FC Foundation’s equality strand as well as acting as a champion and representative for children and young people with disabilities.
On his appointment as official ambassador, 11-year-old Jay Beatty, said: “It’s going to be brilliant. I am going to work hard for the Foundation because I love Celtic.I’m going to make sure that I do all the Celtic fans proud.”
It is hoped Jay’s exuberance and enthusiasm will encourage participation and interest towards Celtic FC Foundation’s grass roots disability sports projects.
Additionally, Jay will act as a voice for Celtic FC Foundation’s fundraising campaigns as well as attending key events throughout the season including our annual Sporting Dinner and Celtic FC’s Player of the Year Awards ceremony.
Celtic Chief Executive Peter Lawwell said: “The wonderful affinity between Jay and the Celtic support has been one of the truly inspiring stories of this season.
“I am sure he will be a wonderful ambassador for Celtic FC Foundation. I know everyone at the Club – and I am sure all our supporters – would like to wish him all the very best.”
Celtic FC Foundation Chief Executive, Tony Hamilton, added: “Jay is one of many children with Down’s Syndrome or other disabilities who we want to help through our programmes such as Ability Counts and Inspiring Sport.
“I am delighted that he has signed on for the Foundation. He is a real inspiration to us and many other people and I’m looking forward to him joining our team for season 2015/16.”
Wee Jay’s dad, Martin Beatty, said: “Today is a very proud and emotional day for our family and we are honoured and humbled that Jay is an ambassador for Celtic FC Foundation. He really is a special Bhoy for a special club.”