The Football Association of Ireland will aim to reach over 12,000 schoolchildren this year through ‘The Futsal in the Yard’ programme which was launched today.
The programme focuses on introducing participants to the game of Futsal, using fun games and activities to improve agility, balance and coordination, while also emphasising important Futsal techniques.
During its first year being rolled out, the programme engaged 11,998 schoolchildren from 172 schools in total, with 4,923 being female (43% representation) and the FAI aims to engage even more schoolchildren this year.
The programme is aimed at third & fourth class pupils and can be delivered easily by primary school teachers as part of PE with minimal guidance or coaching required.
The FAI ‘Futsal in the Yard’ Programme was developed from an original concept delivered by the FAI in conjunction with Clare Sports Partnership in May 2021 and was rolled out nationally by the FAI in September 2021 on a pilot basis.
The programme has been developed further this year, with the introduction of adapted sessions for children with additional needs and those attending special schools. Each participating school in the programme will receive four Futsal balls, a digital resource pack which includes short video tutorials, simple graphics, and text to outline all 5 weeks of the programme.
Each school will also receive an introductory session by their local FAI Development Officer which will outline how best to utilise the digital resource pack and the four Futsal balls for classes of up to 32 pupils.
Teachers can then use the digital resource pack for the five-week Futsal in the Yard programme. The sessions are broken down to warm-up, ball mastery and small-sided games to make it easier for the teacher to deliver.
Speaking about the programme Cormac Moussally, Programme Coordinator for Schools and Third Level said: “We’re excited to see the progress this programme can make after its inception as a pilot programme last year.
"With the addition of adapted sessions as part of the digital resource pack given to teachers, it will only enhance the inclusivity of the Futsal in the Yard programme as a whole.
"This will allow Futsal in the Yard to be rolled out to both mainstream and special schools with detailed session plans, tutorial videos, and yard layouts given to teachers via the programmes digital resource pack.
"Great credit must be given to Simon Walsh, Patrick O’Reilly, Heather Jameson, Michael Looby and Dean Broaders for their work during the summer to make this addition possible."
FAI Season Ticket package back on sale with limited availability
Preview | Italy WNT v Ireland WNT
Football Association of Ireland unveils Football Pathways Plan