Football For All Programme
The Football Association was the first Sports Governing Body in Ireland to appoint a National Coordinator with this remit and the programme has been a huge success. Many agencies and groups recognise how football can contribute to the quality of life to so many thousands of Irish people.
The FAI now has two full-time staff with responsibility for facilitating a clear pathway to cater for players with various disabilities from club to country where abilities allow.
The Football for All programme is made up of players from all groups and sporting bodies that cater for people with a disability who want to play football. At the moment we have approximately 3,800 players participating in all of our programmes. The FAI in the past 4 years has established a number of associations to govern particular programmes within Football For All, these are Blind Football Ireland (BFI), Association of Irish Powerchair Football (AIPF) and Irish Amputee Football Association(IAFA). All three independently govern their specific football game across Ireland providing the pathway for their members from grassroots to international where possible.
In 2010 the FAI Football For All programme established a network of Football For All Clubs through our existing community clubs across Ireland. These clubs provide opportunities for children with specific needs and may struggle to excel in the competitive environment of underage football or who need additional supports to develop as footballers to join the club, train and compete at FAI FFA club festivals. For more information please go to our FFA Club section.
Coach education plays a key role in the development of our FFA players and in the insurance that our clubs and coaches have the confidence and passion to be inclusive and provide opportunities for all children and adults in Ireland to access football at suitable levels. For more information on our educational courses when working with players with disabilities check out our coach education calendar.
The FAI recognises that some people or communities start from a disadvantaged position and may need assistance from the Association to access all opportunities that exist in football.