FAI Primary School 5s opens for 2023

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FAI Primary School 5s opens for 2023

The 2023 FAI Primary School 5s Programme was officially launched under a new hybrid model approach to increase participation within the programme nationwide.
24th Jan 2023

The fun five-a-side football programme for boys and girls in 4th, 5th and 6th class has grown year-on-year and is now the largest Grassroots Football programme of its kind in Ireland. Following on from the success of the 2022 programme, a new approach for 2023 will see all registered schools for the FAI Primary School 5s Programme being provided with a digital resource pack to host their own 5-a-side tournament prior to their entry into the returning County Final qualifier days. 

The digital resource pack will contain video tutorials, competition format guides, and score sheets to assist teachers with running their own 5-a-side tournament before the lucky students are selected to represent their school in the County qualifiers. Winning schools from the County qualifiers then have the opportunity to compete in their Regional Finals with a view to competing at the National Finals Day on May 31st.

In addition, this year’s programme will also see the inclusion of a Football For All/Special Schools qualifiers section for the first time in the FAI Primary School 5s programme. Qualifiers for schools within this category will take place at the Regional Finals stage onwards. This addition to the programme is a further development to the inclusion of a Football For All/Special Schools section in last year’s National Finals Day.

The emphasis of the FAI Primary School 5s is placed on fun, inclusivity and fostering a passion for physical activity. The in-house tournament will provide all school children to take part this year prior to teachers selecting their panel of eight players to represent their school.

FAI CEO Jonathan Hill welcomed the launch of this year’s programme, saying: “The growth of the FAI Primary School 5s has been fantastic to see with over 56,000 children taking part last year, which was our first year back since the outbreak of COVID-19.

“There has been a 200% rise in participation since 2015 and one of the hugely encouraging aspects of that is the 45% total of girls involved. The Primary School 5s shows just how important it is to have schools around the country cater for children who want to keep active and have fun by playing football.

“It is a credit to those involved in FAI Schools, our own FAI staff and the teachers in the schools for rolling out this programme and ensuring that it gets better each year. An example of that is the addition of Special Schools with 16 taking part in the National Finals Day last year and now catering for this within schools themselves.”

FAI Representative for Football For All, Colm Young: "The inclusion of the Special Schools section of the Primary 5s is a most welcome addition to the overall Football for All Programme. Children of all abilities now have the opportunity to showcase their talents on the field of play. Last year’s finals day was testament to great work that FAI Schools and the FAI are doing to make our sport truly inclusive."

Robert Moran, FAI Schools Chairman, said: “The Primary Schools 5s program has grown steadily since its inception and has been a key component in the development of the game across the country, in particular for young girls. Whether in a small rural school or large urban school, the same opportunity exists for students to fulfil dreams of playing in the Aviva Stadium. The introduction of a section for special schools has been an extremely positive development in the last year and hopefully will be a model for inclusivity across all sections of football in Ireland in the future.”

For all dates, venues, and competition details please follow the link here to the 2023 FAI Primary School 5s brochure: FAI Primary School 5s - 2023 Brochure

Register for the FAI Primary School 5s Programme using the following link: FAI Primary School 5s - Application Form 2023

All Football For All / Special Schools please register using this link: FAI Primary School 5s - Special Schools/Football For All - 2023 Application Form

For more information, email primaryschools@fai.ie