Tuesday 25 February 2020

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Cork Independent

Lifestyle & Leisure

Kickabout in the city

Wednesday, 29th January, 2020 4:02pm

Football is a game that can be played by all, regardless of of background, age or ability. To promote the game in the city, Cork City Council and the FAI have teamed up to roll out a Football in the Community Development Programme.

The goal of the programme is to increase participation in football, incorporate social inclusion through football, develop emerging talent and to educate coaches and volunteers in relation to best practice.

The programme, one of 24 across Ireland, are rolled out by football development officers who work with schools, reception centres, youth clubs and community centres.

Some examples of what has already taken place are a Down Syndrome Talent Day in Blarney, an intercultural programme designed to combat racism by working closely with clubs, leagues and affiliates at all levels of the game to ensure that football environments deal proactively with discrimination and coaching sessions with St Columba’s Girls School with facility for deaf children in Douglas. Welcoming the programme Lord Mayor, Cllr John Sheehan said: “We aim to make Cork a responsive and inclusive city but also fun, active and healthy one and this Football in the Community Programme meets all of these criteria.”

Michael Looby, FAI Regional Team Leader said: “We are delighted to enter into partnership with Cork City Council to provide a Football in the Community Development Officer to work in the city. At a time when drug use and associated criminality are serious issues in our country, it has never been more important to assist the marginalized in society.

“By supporting and developing our football clubs, encouraging increased participation, inclusion, and creating real player pathways for our girls and boys, we will give the youth of the city a realistic alternative to anti-social behavior, drug use and criminality. Ray has extensive experience in delivering football inclusion programmes and will assist the many great volunteers we have in our clubs to achieve our goals,” he added.

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