Westport United Claim 100th FAI Club Mark
The FAI Club Mark is an award based on best practice in the governance, management and administration of a football club. Clubs start their journey at Entry Level and can progress on to become a One Star club. Each step challenges the club to implement policies and procedures in line with best practice.
The aim of the FAI Club Mark is to:
- Establish minimum operating criteria for football clubs
- Provide clubs with a road map to good governance, management and administration
- Support clubs on their journey
- Reward clubs for achieving and maintaining high standards
- Provide recognition to clubs for their commitment and achievements
- Increase club’s capacity to operate effectively and grow football in communities throughout Ireland
Clubs nationwide have been working with local Development Officers and the FAI Club Development staff to implement structures to enable them to attract, develop and maintain players, volunteers and sponsors.
Westport United became the 100th club to achieve the entry level and their fine facilities were the perfect venue to mark the milestone. The club - who are 110 years in existence - have 665 members including a dedicated Football for All section have embraced the programme.
Club Secretary Claire Reilly took the lead for Westport in the process and is already seeing the benefits. "We have 76 volunteers now Garda vetted and safeguarded which is great given the volume of teams we have involved at underage. I definitely think it is the way to go."
FAI Club Development Programme Coordinator Barry McGann is excited for the future of Club Mark. "We have identified a list of criteria for club governance and we have developed a road map (Club Mark) so clubs can implement best practice to club management."
"We had 52 clubs on the 31st of December 2020 and from the first of January to today, we have had a further 53 clubs get through Club Mark Entry Level. Also on the 1st of September the window opens for next year's One Star applications."
FAI President Gerry McAnaney made the presentation and said: "It does your heart good to come to a club like Westport United and see the facilities that are here and the young people, the committee, the parents, the coaches and everyone involved in the club.
"If you want to drive your club forward, we have a Club Management Guide, we have people within the Association who will help bring clubs through the whole process of the Club Mark."
McAnaney was delighted to see Regional FAI Staff who are back out in their communities assisting clubs. "Our Development Officers are with the Association so that they can go out and assist and get into the community be it in schools and clubs. They need it for their own morale and mental health to get back and get out there, it is great to see."
To find out more about the FAI Club Mark programme visit https://www.fai.ie/domestic/fai-club-mark