GALLERY| Longford PPN helps integrate people through sport

The football club known to many nationalities in the County as the very skilled and energetic Football Stars was set up by the Polish community only seven months ago.

The club has since gone from strength to strength winning the Longford Premier League Final, coming first in the county in the under 10 Polska Eire Cup and 3rd in the All Ireland Polska Eire 2019 tournament competing against teams from Cork, Wexford, Carlow, Kilkenny, Dublin and Waterford.

Much of their success is down to the commitment and drive of the club's organisers and coaches. Last week saw a unique collaboration between the club, Longford PPN, Longford Sports Partnership and the FAI, brought about by five of the club’s coaches receiving Coach Education PDP 1 and 2 Certificates.

Having now completed this training Piotr Doroz, Krzysztof Mach, Bart Slezek, Maciej Pasternak and Tomasz Wojtowicz are eager to go to the next level.

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Graham Kane, FAI Development Officer who presented the coaches with their certs said, “It has been great to work with Football Stars, supporting them to not only grow the club but also to upskill the coaches through the FAI Coach Education Pathway.

“Their drive and persistence has lead the FAI to bring PDP 3 to Longford for the first time.”

Sarah Mulligan, Longford Sports Partnership Coordinator congratulated the coaches and said she was delighted to support this training and hoped the coaches will provide lifelong participation opportunities for children in sport. Siobhán Cronogue, PPN Development Officer said it was a pleasure to work with the group, linking them in with the FAI, Sports Partnership and supporting them to be part of Longford County Councils Intercultural Strategy.

Ms Cronogue said, “Since becoming a member of the PPN the parents of Football Stars have increased their participation at local government level also and I am delighted to have Piotr and Krzysztof as representatives on the PPN Intercultural Forum which was established in March of this year.

“It means the Polish community have a voice at the table, raise issues with the council and share experiences and best practices with other nationalities in the County.”

Piotz Doroz after receiving his certificate noted, “As a coach I want to continue training and ensure we sustain the club and be the best we can be. We are not just about football, we are also about family, community and promoting Longford and the sport in the best light.

“I would like to sincerely thank the PPN,FAI, Longford County Council, Sports Partnership, the children and their parents for their support and encouragement.”

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