SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme Opens
The fun five-a-side football programme has gone from strength to strength and now stands as the largest primary school’s programme of its kind in Ireland.
Open to boys and girls from 4th, 5th and 6th class, the emphasis is firmly placed on fun, inclusivity and fostering a passion for physical activity. SPAR, in its 5th year as supporters of the FAI are looking to surpass 2018 participation figures, which saw a record 1,528 schools and 31,728 children don their sports kit to take to pitches and fields around the country.
Registration for the programme will close on February 15th, and county blitzes will kick off at the end of February so act quickly and sign up online at www.fai.ie/primary5. Winning schools progress from county level to regional then provincial finals, with a lucky 24 schools making it all the way to the National Finals, which will be held on the pristine pitch at the Aviva Stadium on May 29th.
The SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme is an initiative organised by the Football Association of Ireland Schools (FAI Schools). SPAR recently renewed its support of the FAI and the SPAR5s programme until 2021, support which has been in place since 2015 and has seen participation figures grow year on year to become the largest primary school’s competition in the country. The number of schools signing up for the participation programme has jumped from 1,064 in 2015 to 1, 528 last year, benefitting thousands more children in the form of encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle. Particularly pleasing for SPAR has been the increase in the number of girls putting boot to ball, 40% of participants are now female and SPAR, as well as Republic of Ireland Women’s International Megan Campbell, are eager to see this number rise again in 2019.
Speaking about the programme Colin Donnelly, SPAR Sales Director said: “The SPAR5s is a programme we are very proud of, that, as its essence, encourages children to get involved in sport and develop a love for football and physical activity and perfectly complements our SPAR Better Choices message. Each year we are inspired by the enthusiasm and passion shown by students and teachers taking part in the programme which has helped to drive participation levels well over 30,000. Having recently renewed as the Official Convenience Store of the FAI we are looking forward to working with schools and communities across the country to further elevate the stature of the SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme.
“SPAR have 400 high quality, conveniently located outlets spread across the country who are equally as enthusiastic about this programme, which allows us to give back to our loyal customers and help support schools and communities across the country.”
Mr. Seán Carr, FAI Schools Chairman added: “The competition is growing at an incredible rate with the standard of football improving each year especially among our female students. We are excited about our extended partnership with SPAR, who are an ideal sponsor for this competition and we look forward to working with them to increase our phenomenal participation rates again this season”.
Register for the SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme by February 15th at www.fai.ie/primary5
Schedule of Events
Ulster Finals: May 8th, 2019, Donegal League HQ, Ballyare, Co. Donegal
Connacht Finals: May 9th, 2019, Solar21 Park, Castlebar, Co. Mayo
Munster Finals: May 14th & 15th, 2019, Seanchoill Sports Complex, Corbally, Co. Limerick
Leinster Finals: May 16th, 2019, MDL Grounds, Trim Road, Navan, Co. Meath
National Finals: May 29th, 2019, Aviva Stadium, Dublin