Cork City Council and the FAI team up for Football in the Community

Football in the Community Launch

24th January 2020

To promote the game of football in Cork City and to prove that the game can be played by all, regardless of background, age or ability, Cork City Council and the Football Association of Ireland have teamed up to roll out a Football in the Community Development Programme.  The FAI's Ray Claffey has come on board as Community Development Officer for Cork City.

The goal of this programme (one of 24 in the country) is designed to increase participation in football, incorporate social inclusion through football (particularly in areas of disadvantage), develop emerging talent and to educate coaches and volunteers in relation to best practice.

These programmes are rolled out by Football Development Officers who work with schools, reception centres, youth clubs and community centres. Some examples of what has already happened 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 the 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.”

On behalf of the FAI, Mr. 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.”

By delivering active football development at grassroot level to key target groups, and by developing partnerships and co-ordination between local statutory and voluntary bodies it is hoped that there will be increased participation and opportunities for participation in football in Cork City.