This week saw the FAI run a refresher week of “UEFA FOOTBALL CHANCE” sessions in the fantastic venue of Irishtown stadium: almost 30 hours in total with over 90 teenagers taking part with the trained coaches running the sessions daily.

One of the participants, Abbie Larkin, with her certificate and international cap, is 16 years old and played for the women’s senior international team during the week. She has been on the programme since January 2021, and it has been great to see her develop along with the other participants. She also has been a great role model for the female participants.

The programme has been a great team/individual building process and we have seen the impact of building up relationships with teenagers on an ongoing basis, some of the participants have now gone on to complete coaching courses and are volunteering in delivery of sessions in schools and the community.

Some of the female participants were linked into a local football team which has led to the team increasing numbers and been able to survive, they had been struggling to field a team otherwise.

The Irish project team have also used the programme to create a programme with Google Ireland where they will partner up to deliver a “YOUTH MENORING PROGRAMME”, which will involve using the football chance programme, FAI coach education and a google programme “IAMREMARKABLE”, to develop leaders in the local community.