THE LAUNCH of the new Road to Rio afterschool football programme, a follow-on to the Road to Poland initiative earlier in the year, has taken place.
Organised by the FAI and Fingal County Council, with the backing of Swords Pavilions, the exciting soccer programme will coincide with the Republic of Ireland's bid to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, is aimed at increasing participation in football in Fingal. In the first phase of the Road to Rio, a number of different programmes will take place in schools, clubs and community centres in the region.
The 4v4 Road to Rio tournaments, which are under way in Skerries and Balbriggan, provide primary school kids with an opportunity to test their skills in an eight week small-sided-games competition. Also part of the programme are a number of after-school clubs, in which qualified FAI coaches will deliver fun coaching sessions to boys and girls aged five to ten. Ian Hunter, Pavilions centre director, said: 'We are once again delighted to support the FAI with their new Road to Rio football programme.
This initiative allows Swords Pavilions to encourage greater sport participation within our local community. 'Giving school kids the opportunity to learn new skills from qualified coaches is a fantastic way of increasing sport participation no matter what the skill base is like; we might even discover a star of the future.' Paul Keogh, FAI/Fingal County Council development officer. said: ' This programme provides opportunities for boys and girls to play football in a fun environment where emphasis is on enjoyment and learning. We are delighted with our community partner Swords Pavilions for their continued support. It takdes place in Balbriggan at the Glebe North FC all weather pitches on Wednesdays from 3 to 4.30 p.m. The cost is €3.50 per week. It takes place in Skerries Community Centre on Fridays from 3.15 to 4.45 p.m. The cost is €4.