Ashbourne United create links with local schools
The FAI worked with Ashbourne United on a pilot club/school link programme las year in a bid to help the club and schools can work together to promote the game in local communities.
FAI Development Officers (including Meath DO Barry Ferguson) trained the TY students from Ashbourne Community School on a PDP 1, while they also received their Safeguarding 1 course credentials.
As a result of the qualifications, the club coaches and the TY students now coach on a weekly basis in a number of local Primary Schools as part of the TY work experience module.
Pupils from St Declan's NS, St. Mary's NS and Gaelscoil Na Cille NS all get training from the coaches, some of whom went to the schools previously as pupils.
Speaking in Ashbourne, club Chairman Dermot Lambe said; "This project has enabled us to get kids at both ends of their soccer career. It's enabled us to get younger kids in playing soccer right from a very early age in third, fourth, fifth and sixth class."
Mark Scanlon, FAI Schools National Coordinator feels the progamme in Ashbourne can be developed throughout the country.
"By developing a programme like this, where the local Transititon Year students are helping out coaching in the local primary school, it means we can bring a lot more coaching programmes to primary schools and obviously it also gives the TY students a great chance to get some work experience, to get involved in coaching, and the added bonus with this programme then is the fact that it's linked into the club so it completes the whole community aspect that we're looking for."