Rush Athletic take steps to embrace Football For All

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Rush Athletic take steps to embrace Football For All

The Football For All programme continues to have a hugely positive impact on football clubs around the country and, now, Rush Athletic are the latest to experience that.
14th Aug 2021

The North Dublin club hosted a unique event this week to launch its commitment to incorporating a Football For All section, with 25 adults from Prosper Fingal Rush getting involved.

This initiative came from the Fingal County Council’s Sports Department unique Kick Fit programme, which was tweaked to Kick Fit Inclusion to involve FAI coaches and Rush Athletic coaches working with the mentors and adult participants in Prosper Fingal.

Once Rush Athletic became aware of the initiative they were keen to assist. The club have now developed an overarching plan and ambition to become a recognised FAI Football For All club offering more opportunities to those in their community. There are also plans afoot to incorporate a juvenile section for those with additional needs in September.

Paul Keogh, FAI Development Officer for North Dublin, said: “My colleague and newly appointed Football For All Development Officer Heather Jameson has done terrific work with getting this set up. Connecting with Ann Murray, who lives in Rush, they have driven this initiative with a fantastic event hosted by Rush Athletic.

"For a number of years we have been seeking a club in North Fingal to offer these opportunities so after a very brief conversation with Rush Club Secretary Oonagh Boylan and Club Chairman Adrian Kelly the club is now fully onboard. The key to the success was identifying a club coach from Rush Athletic and John Gallagher kindly came forward and he has exciting plans to drive it forward. John’s commitment was crucial and his coaching expertise will ensure the adults and youths will enjoy their football experience."

Adrian Kelly, Chairman of Rush Athletic, said: “On behalf of Rush Athletic FC, we are delighted to announce that in conjunction with the FAI and Prosper Fingal, we have begun coaching sessions weekly with the guys in Prosper, aided by our very own John Gallagher and FAI coaches, Anne and Heather.

"This is something that the club have wanted to be involved in for a while now. Paul Keogh, FAI Development Officer, has approached us on numerous occasions and unfortunately the timing was all wrong for us. We are in constant contact with Fingal County Council for more pitches to help us expand but this is a very slow burner, unfortunately. So we have made the decision to move on with this as it is very important in the community to provide this.

"Football is for All and should be available to all. We recently reformed our Ladies Senior Soccer side, with a fantastic response from players, sponsors and supporters in the town and we hope that Football For All will equally be supported, as I am very confident it will be. Our Juvenile Secretary, Oonagh Boylan, is doing a huge amount of ground work to get this set up also. I would like to wish the group the very best of luck and that the club are fully behind them. Supervalu Rush have also to be commended for their generous support of refreshments for the day.”

Rebecca Howard, Prosper Fingal, commented: “Ann (Murray) approached our centre in May to offer her time to kickstart a mixed ability football team. Over 20 players take part in training every Thursday, which they all hugely enjoy and look forward to each week. It has massively improved fitness levels, social skills, relationships and mental wellbeing.

"A core value of Prosper Fingal is community integration and the initiative has really brought a sense of belonging and purpose to the lives of each player. We are hugely grateful to Rush Athletic FC for welcoming us into their club. They have gone above and beyond for our service users and we look forward to continuing the partnership. A special thanks also to Ann, John, Ellis and Heather who have all offered their time to develop this programme."

Click here for more information on the FAI Football For All Programme