Balbriggan put on a show with Prosper Fingal
The event ran well and is part of an FAI/Fingal County Council Football For All plan for the area. Each centre now has links to their local Grassroots club - Skerries Town FC, Swords Celtic FC, Balbriggan FC and Rush Athletic FC whose Prosper Centre were a late casualty because of COVID.
The event's main organisers, Ann Murray and John Gallagher, who are both active volunteer inclusion officers working in conjuncton with FAI/FCC Development Officers Paul Keogh, Jamie Wilson and Sharon Boyle, were the drivers of the initiative with great support from the local clubs and Prosper key workers.
Commenting on the event Anne Murray said: “(The Prosper Blitz) saw the dedication of the players, key workers and clubs shine through. It’s hard to believe that only eight months ago we stepped onto the pitch at Rush Athletic FC to start our first Prosper Team. Here we are now with teams in Swords Celtic, Skerries Town, Shelbourne, and Balbriggan who hosted the event. A special thank you to John Gallagher from Rush Athletic, who has been helping coach all the teams since May last year, endless energy and passion, we are lucky to have him on board.
"The atmosphere that was created from the time the players stepped on the pitch and it made them feel like they were playing in a Cup Final. Thank you to all that supported us...Paul Keogh, Jamie Wilson, Shelbourne Business/ Coaching Diploma coaches and it was great to have Brian McManus, first-team player with Shelbourne, presenting the trophies sponsored by Lee Brothers.”
Key workers Saoirse and Lisa of Proser Fingal said: “Thank you to Balbriggan for being fantastic hosts. We were delighted to see all teams down enjoying themselves. The hard work for all teams was evident. As a mentor I was delighted how well the team came together and was great to bring back some silverware. Thank you to Anne for not only organising the event but also for being the driving force behind all team’s development. Thank you to Frank Kilbride, Chairman of Swords Celtic, for the sponsorship and for arranging fabulous new jumpers for all the players. We will take a lot of pride in wearing them.”
Michael O’Regan, secretary Balbriggan, commented" We were delighted to be able to sponsor and host Prosper Fingal football blitz on the Bremore all-weather facility. The all-weather company were happy to provide the facility free of charge, as they do each Tuesday to the Prosper Balbriggan team, who looked great in their new Balbriggan playing kit. It was great to see everybody enjoying themselves and playing the game in the spirit it was meant to be played.”
Paul Keogh, FAI/FCC Development Officer, added: “It was a fantastic day and a culmination of several months’ work with all the players. The support from everyone made the event and the games were played in a great spirit. Congratulations to Prosper Swords/Swords Celtic for winning the event but the true winners were the smiles on all the players. The FAI and Fingal County Council sports department recognise the need for such support and the key going forward is partnerships to ensure there is a sustainable element to what we are trying to deliver. It was also great to see former Minister of State for Disability Finian McGrath out supporting the event.”