INTERSPORT Elverys Summer Soccer School Success
A phenomenal return to action saw 700 FAI coaches deliver 383 camps across 294 Grassroots clubs over eight weeks with a 16 per cent growth in the number of girls taking part.
FAI Grassroots Director Ger McDermott was thrilled to see so many girls enjoy the fun of football at the camps and thanked all the host clubs for their commitment to this progressive and growing programme.
"To have 32,000 girls and boys enjoying their football at the INTERSPORT Elverys Summer Soccer School camps in a safe COVID-19 environment this year is a credit to the clubs, to the coaches and to the staff who made it possible," said McDermott.
"With the added COVID-19 guidelines, the clubs were fantastic in adapting and ensuring facilities provided a safe and enjoyable environment for all our players and we thank all the coaches and officials for their dedication to safety all summer.
"This year’s camps have been a tremendous success. We have seen year on year increase in participants and this would not be made possible without the hard work of our Clubs, Development Officers and Coaches. The fact that coaches are returning on an annual basis and developing on their own coaching pathway is also encouraging for the Grassroots game.
"INTERSPORT Elverys also deserve huge credit after coming on board as title sponsor in 2020. They are Ireland's largest sports retailer and have engaged with some great competitions and prizes to make the camps even more enjoyable for the kids."
Ireland international managers Stephen Kenny, Vera Pauw and Jim Crawford experienced all the fun of the INTERSPORT Elverys FAI Summer Soccer Schools for themselves with visits as did Senior Women’s Team players Jamie Finn who paid a visit to the girls only camp at Albion Rovers in County Louth while Ellen Molloy, who was once a participant herself, was back at her Grassroots club Thomastown United in a coaching capacity.
FAI CEO Jonathan Hill, who visited a Navan camp alongside President Gerry McAnaney, paid tribute to the all those responsible for ensuring the success of the programme.
Hill said: "We couldn’t do many of things that we do, like our FAI Summer Soccer Schools, without the help of our partners like Meath County Council and sponsors like INTERSPORT Elverys. INTERSPORT Elverys are part and parcel of the fabric of Irish football and their support for our Summer Soccer Schools is greatly appreciated."
Participants at Templeogue United, Manortown United and Bluebell United received a surprise visit from Republic of Ireland Manager Stephen Kenny during week four in Dublin. Kenny was thrilled to see the boys and girls back out having fun in the sunshine. He said: "We’ve had a year of inactivity and it has hindered their development but also their enjoyment. It is just brilliant to see them out playing football again, whether it is with their camps or playing with their respective teams It’s fantastic and great to see."
Republic of Ireland Women's National Team Manager Vera Pauw and Coach Jan Willem van Ede shared tips with coaches and players at the camps in Tyrrelstown and Sporting Greystones. Pauw, preparing for the upcoming 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup qualifier in Georgia, said: "The fact that girls can aspire to something now because it is so bright and open. That is so healthy for the whole community."
Ireland Under-21s Head Coach visited Carrigaline United to meet some of the stars at one of two Football for All camps. "Football For All is a fantastic programme, fantastic for kids and has fantastic clubs. You see the amazing work that Carrigaline United has done in the community and this is only enhanced by their Football For All club," said Crawford.
Watch this space for news of an exclusive camp opportunity coming this Autumn.