National Exhibition links up with local community
The first port of call was the Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) Sports Arena where Local FAI Regional Development Officer Gary Power put the group through their paces with a fun training session.
The group, including parents and family members, were then transported to the Waterford City Hall and treated to a tour of the National Football Exhibition.
The Exhibition was adapted to the group with the dimming of lights, sound and creation of additional spaces. The interactive stations proved particularly popular while the group posed with the Extra.ie FAI Cup with the first round of games ongoing. Children got their photos taken in the Photo Booth and with the SSE Airtricity League Trophy, while they also learned all about the UEFA European Championships.
Each participant left with National Football Exhibition with pin badges and booklets and a EURO 2020 gift bag with a football, boot bag and cap. The event showcased the best of local community with WIT, FAI and Suirway Bus Company and providing their services free of charge on the day.
Speaking at the event, parent and National Football Exhibition Volunteer Pat Hayes was delighted with the day trip. "It has been a great day out for the group. Having a training session with Gary Power was a big deal for a lot of the children and then to see them having fun at the Exhibition has rounded the day off. To have gift bags then tops it all off and I am sure many will be practicing their skills now for the evening with the footballs and UEFA caps on."
Hayes added that the group has many activities and they were grateful for the generosity of the FAI and local suppliers. "As a charity, to have an offer of a day out like this, it is a great bonus. A full morning of activities has the children worn out and smiling from ear to ear."
WASSA was founded in 2009 by a group of parents who have children on the Autistic Spectrum and their aim is to benefit the community through participation, integration and inclusion into mainstream social and sporting activities.
The groups’ objective is to support children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) through a range of social and sports activities. All children with ASD demonstrate deficits in; social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviours or interests. For more information on their services, visit www.wassa.ie.
The Exhibition will close to the Waterford public on Sunday, August 12th before visiting Donegal next month.
Waterford City Hall Opening Times
Monday – Friday 11:00 - 17:00
Saturday – Sunday 11:00 - 17:00
Download the National Football Exhibition App from the App Store or Google Play Store for additional information and future venues.
Donegal – September 2019
Dundalk – February 2020
Galway – March 2020
Dublin – June 2020
*Photo by Noel Browne