SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme kicks off
The Galway City qualifiers commenced last Tuesday in the impressive surrounds of Salthill Devon FC for their Section ‘A’ qualifiers for small schools. The various other qualifiers for the County will take place shortly as Carraroe and Shiven Rovers will also be utilised to facilitate the geographic spread of schools. Development Officers Nigel Keady and John Morris Burke will be co-ordinating this year’s events as 109 schools will descend into these three splendid facilities over an immense fourteen day schedule.
The Tipperary qualifiers kick started on Tuesday also as Cahir Park AFC played host to the Southern schools. Development Officers James Scott and Stephen Quinn will host qualifiers in Two Mile Borris / St. Kevin’s FC for the Mid Tipperary teams in mid-March while Ballymackey FC will cater for the Northern contingency. These qualifiers will culminate in an outstanding 30 days of events for a staggering 128 schools in the County, North and South.
Fresh from their mid-term break, primary schools nationwide will commence preparations for this season’s sensational campaign with nearly 1,700 institutes experiencing footie fever!
Another five counties will be preparing for battle this week as proceedings get underway in Donegal, Sligo, Limerick, Louth and Kildare with the dream of playing in the Aviva Stadium, Dublin in May in the minds of some of these future starlets.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?
The SPAR5s as it’s commonly known as, is a 5-a-side competition which is open to boys and girls from 4th, 5th and 6th class, and puts emphasis on fun and inclusivity. The blitz day format is co-ordinated at local level with the assistance of a network of FAI Development Officers and local primary school teachers. These personnel co-ordinate events at County level with qualifying schools progressing to Regional, Provincial and National Finals.
The programme has approximately 37,000 students participating this season with a remarkable 42% of those participants female.
There are 6 divisions to suit all school sizes with small, medium and large schools all catered for. While the programme encourages boys and girls to play on the same team, there is also a separate competition for girls’ schools. A number of teams can represent one school depending on the size of their student body, giving more children the chance to develop their skills in a safe, child centered and exciting environment.
SPAR have been the Official Convenience Retail Partner for the FAI since 2012. While there are many elements to their partnership agreement, the emphasis for the retailer is to support and promote grassroots football in the local community.
It’s the perfect fit given that SPAR have 400 high quality, conveniently located outlets spread across the country who are equally as enthusiastic about this year’s programme. The local retailers will be showing their support for their local schools again this season | #SPAR5s