Local residents and community representatives recently came together at Glass House Hotel in Sligo for a presentation ceremony marking the achievements of participants in an innovative youth training project that provided accredited training in soccer coaching and refereeing to young people aged from 16-25 years.
Funded by the International Fund for Ireland and administered by Sligo Young Enterprises, the Football in the Community project targeted thirty young people from seven areas in Sligo: Forthill, Merville, Mail Coach Road (MCR), Abbeyquarter, Caltragh, Glendallon and Tubbercurry. Those involved were presented with certificates on the night recognising their successful participation in the training.
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.
Throughout the project, participants were encouraged and supported to become youth leaders in their communities with a view to using their new skills to train and support other young people from their own football clubs. It is hoped that this will help promote active citizenship and the sustainability of their local football clubs as well as serving to improve participants’ future employment potential.
The project was specifically designed to cater to the needs of the local community as participants gained qualifications in a number of areas including the FAI Kick Start programme, FETAC level 4 in soccer coaching, refereeing qualifications, first aid, child protection, leadership skills and mediation skills. The project also developed cross-border linkages so that young leaders got a first-hand understanding of the conflict and other communities. This included study visits to Ballinamallard United Football Club in Fermanagh, where a number of ex-Sligo Rovers players currently play.
Speaking at the event, Dorothy Clarke, Board Member of the 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 proud to be associated with Sligo Young Enterprises and the tremendous work they have carried out over the last year with the Football in the Community project. In particular, I would like to congratulate all the participants, who have excelled in what they have achieved throughout the project. The benefits of their achievements will be felt throughout the community for years to come.”
Ciaran Kelly, project manager at Sligo Young Enterprises, said: “I would like to acknowledge the generous support we’ve received from the International Fund for Ireland for this twelve-month project. This is a fantastic night for all the participants involved in this project and a well-deserved recognition for each of the participants and all the hard work and effort they put in over the last twelve months.”
“The project is an excellent example of how sport can be used to help break down traditional barriers. At a time of high unemployment, this project has given an important boost to local communities by providing valuable training that will enhance the employment prospects of young people.”
For further information about our funding programmes, or for information on how to apply for funding, please contact the person(s) or organisation(s) identifed at the end of the relevant programme summary in the areas of activity section.
International Fund for Ireland
28-32 Alfred St.
+44 (0)28 9031 2884