Graham Kane, the new FAI Development Officer in Longford, has outlined some of the programmes that the FAI are implementing in Longford and they are as follows:
Social Inclusion Programmes
Springlawn, Palace Crescent, Attic Youth Group, Longford Youth Reach
These are the groups that Graham has worked with over the last 6 months on a weekly/monthly basis. They are young groups from children to teenagers and the programmes are implemented from a social aspect and all about enjoyment. It is to facilitate children and teenagers in disadvantaged communities. Football is a big priority in Longford for young people and they really enjoy participating on this programme. For some of the children this is the only time they participate in football activities as they wouldn’t be involved in the football clubs.
Youth Reach Group
Graham works with Longford Youth Reach group on a weekly basis. This programme is working with early school leavers and young teenagers at risk. He has two groups within the Youth Reach programme. He works with boys separately and also the girls separately we have an average of 20 young people taking part in this programme which is great for exercise but also from a social aspect mixing with other people etc. As part of their curriculum in the New Year of 2017 Graham hope to implement FAI Coach Education courses for the participants to up skill themselves and add extra qualifications to their curriculum. He is looking to start them off on the FAI Coaching ladder that they may be able to link in with their local club and coach young players.
Women Walking Football
This is a joint initiative between the FAI and also Longford Sports Partnership to facilitate football for older adults. It is a great programme from a social point of view it is all about having fun through football activity. It is also a great programme to take part in from an exercise point of view.
Graham has done several of intercultural programmes in Longford including Show Racism The Red Card initiative which he have implemented in primary schools and also local clubs. This is to make everyone aware that racism is not tolerated in all levels of sports and life. He was done 2 hour workshop with each group which contained of 1 hour theory based through PowerPoint presentation and also 1 hour with fun activity games. Also part of this initiative Graham gave everyone that took part in the programme a red wrist band which had show racism the red card on the band. Stonepark Football Club also took part in this initiative and promoted this within their club.
The FAI in conjunction with Longford Sports Partnership has covered a range of Disability Programmes through football and have delivered programmes for people with Intellectual disabilities, people with mental health and also young people through Special Education School in St Christopher’s services.
All programmes were implemented by Graham and Mary Duignan, who is the Disability Officer for Longford. Mary has been a massive help to Graham for the Disability Programmes as she has made contact and is very familiar with all services in Longford.
The intellectual disability programme was a 6 week programme that took place in the Mall Sports Complex. The group were from St Christopher Services and really enjoyed the programme and they have expressed their interest for another programme to begin in 2017.
The special education school is working with young children with disabilities and also have children who are in wheelchairs and they really enjoy the programme. This is a 4 week programme that takes place in St Christopher Services the objective of this programme is to link these children to a football club in Longford. The FAI are in the process of identifying the best possible club to take on the Football For All Programme.
There will be a natural progression for all of the programmes if the participants are interested in continuing and playing under a football Club’s name. This includes Power Chair Football so people who are in Wheelchairs can still play the game under a club umbrella and competitive level. The aim of this programme is to accommodate football for everyone.
Women and Girls
School programmes for young Girls, implementing school football programmes to schools in Longford, look to develop their skill and most of all they enjoy the sessions. Like anything if they enjoy an activity they will want to do it again. The objective to this programme is to have fun.
FAI Competitions for Girls
The FAI has schools competitions for girls in both primary and post primary schools and implement FUTSAL competitions for young girls that progress all the way to National Finals. It is a great achievement and incentive for young girls to represent their school at County Finals and also an incentive to progress to Leinster Finals and also National Finals.
Post Primary Futsal
The FAI has schools competitions for boys in both primary and post primary schools and implement FUTSAL competitions for young girls that progress all the way to National Finals. It is a great achievement and incentive for young girls to represent their school at County Finals and also an incentive to progress to Leinster Finals and also National Finals.
Primary 5’s Competition
This is a primary school competition for boys and girls. It is a 5-a-side competition that leads to National Finals. The FAI target all primary schools in Longford to take part in this programme as it is a very enjoyable tournament for children to take part in.