Republic of Ireland Manager, Martin O’Neill and former Republic of Ireland International Keith Andrews were on hand to launch the SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme in Aviva Stadium.
The five-a-side school blitzes are open to boys and girls from 4th, 5th and 6th class, and puts emphasis on fun and inclusivity. SPAR and the FAI are looking to trump last year’s participation figures, which saw 1,267 schools and 23,736 children lace up their boots to take to pitches around the country.
Registration opens in December and closes on February 17, and county blitzes will kick off at the end of February. Winning schools progress from County level to regional then provincial finals, with the lucky few making it all the way to the National Finals, which will be held in the home of Irish football, Aviva Stadium, on May 31.
The SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme is an initiative organised by the Football Association of Ireland Schools (FAI Schools). SPAR’s support of the competition has been in place since 2015, and has seen participation figures grow year on year to become the largest primary school’s competition in the country.
Speaking about the programme Colin Donnelly, SPAR Sales Director commented: “SPAR are very proud to be involved with this programme, which gives almost 24,000 boys and girls nationwide the opportunity to represent their school in a national level competition. The level of enthusiasm shown by students and teachers taking part in the programme has been fantastic and is helping to drive the programme to new levels.”
“We have 400 high quality, conveniently located outlets spread across the country who are equally as enthusiastic about this programme, which allows us to give back to our loyal customers and help support schools and communities across the country.”
Mr Seán Carr, FAI Schools Chairman added: “The competition has gone from strength to strength in recent years thanks to the assistance of our sponsors, SPAR. The nationwide spread of schools who are choosing to take part, and the increase in female participation, which now stands at 9,320 students is particularly pleasing. I would encourage all primary schools to sign up, and experience the positive benefits of the programme first hand.”
Information on entering the SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme is available at www.faischools.ie or www.spar.ie. Follow all the action live on social media using #SPAR5s.