FAI programmes having big impact for girls

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FAI programmes having big impact for girls

There are many programmes coordinated by FAI Football Development Officers nationwide that have a huge impact on clubs, leagues, communities, and social groups - especially with girls of all ages.
12th Mar 2017

In Dublin, FAI Football Development officer, Tommy Carberry has been working with local schools running a girls' schools programme in Sheriff Street, since October 2015. Initial developments began between Carberry, David Gibbons (DCC manager, St Laurence O’Toole Centre Sheriff Street), Mona Lucas (Principal, St Laurence O’Toole Girls School Sheriff Street) and Fergal Scally (DCC Sports Officer). The outcome was to begin a girls' schools programme in the DCC Centre on Wednesday mornings. 

Carberry and Scally delivered the programme and up to 40 girls attended weekly. Many of whom are playing for the very first time.

As with any FAI programme, the key objective is to create something sustainable to keep young people involved in the game. So Carberry began talks with Gibbons and Paul Ryan, Sheriff YC, with a view to starting up a girls programme.  

Discussions have very productive and with extra support from the FAI in the provision of equipment through the Aviva Soccer Sisters Club Programme, the club are keen to progress. The success of this has now resulted in two teams competing in the local league at Under 11 and U12 level.

Michelle Kane and Amy Kelly, who both work for DCC, were approached by Gibbons to see if they would be interested in getting involved with the club running a girls team both agreed and are looking after the U12s. Kane has been capped for the Republic of Ireland from U16s through to the senior women’s national team, while Kelly was a participant on the FAI/FAS course in Clondalkin and went to the USA on a scholarship. So it is great to have to ex-players pass on their experience to these young girls.

Lauren Lawless and Christine Mc McCarthy, also both former players, are looking after the U11s. The girls programme is still running every Wednesday.

Meanwhile in Limerick City, FAI Football Development Officer, Jason O’Connor has been working with new club Limerick Belles.

Delivering the FAI After-School programme, an intercultural programme, in Presentation NS, O’Connor wanted to increase participation of girls playing football.  With the assistance of O’Connor, Limerick Belles were formed by Sharon & James Glavin and the club has grown incredibly in such a short period of time.

They currently train in the Crescent Comprehensive School in Dooradoyle, Limerick and play in the Limerick County & District Underage League. The club currently cater for U8 through to U16 and are working towards having a senior women’s team. They will aim to start a soccer tots academy starting in September for 3-6 year-olds.

For more information on either of these programmes or any other FAI Women’s programmes, email women@fai.ie