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Successful Sligo Soccer Project receives funding boost

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Local residents and community representatives recently came together at Murphy’s Hotel, Tubbercurry in Sligo to celebrate the launch of the 2016 Football in the Community programme, the third successive year of this highly successful and innovative youth training project. Administered by the Sligo Young Enterprises and funded by the International Fund for Ireland, to date the project has supported and trained 60 young people between the ages of 16-25 years.

 

The Football in the Community programme was specifically designed to cater to the needs of the local community as participants gain qualifications in FETAC level 4 in soccer coaching, refereeing qualifications, first aid, child protection, leadership skills and mediation skills. The initiative has surpassed all expectations and Football in the Community is now heralded as a best practice model for youth development across the southern and northern border counties, with interest expressed from areas from Drogheda to Derry/Londonderry.

A key aim of the year-long project is to promote tolerance and understanding by bringing young people together from local communities to provide accreditation in recognised and relevant qualifications that will benefit participants and the wider community. The project is part of the International Fund for Ireland’s Peace Impact Programme, which aims to build sustainable peace and prosperity in areas suffering from high levels of economic and social deprivation.

The project will continue to work with the young people already involved to encourage and support them to become young leaders in their communities by using their new skills to provide peer support to train and engage with the new participants. They will also be assisted with the progression to employment by recruitment to Sligo Community Training Centre including catering courses.

Speaking at the launch of the 2016 programme, Catherine Ryan, Development Office, International Fund for Ireland said that the Fund is committed to delivering real and positive transformation in communities through the Peace Impact Programme: “We are delighted to continue to support this innovative initiative which has proved highly successful over the past two years, the outcome of which undoubtedly has had a very positive impact on the local communities. On behalf of the Fund, I would like to congratulate everyone involved for their commitment and hard work to make the programme the success it is today. We wish the new participants every success in their endeavours this year”.

Ciaran Kelly, project manager at Sligo Young Enterprises said: “We are thrilled with the success of the project over the past two years and we are most grateful to the International Fund for Ireland for its continued funding of the programme. We are all very proud of the achievements of our participants over the past two years and look forward to working with a new group in the coming year. This project is an excellent example of how sport can be used to help break down traditional barriers”.