Football for All in Swords

by Aaron Dunne
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The FAI launched its FOOTBALL FOR ALL (FFA) project in 2002 and the latest event was held at Swords Celtic ground in Balheary. 

This year it has received a boost by the many clubs which have set up teams dedicated to providing sporting activity to those with additional or special needs. 

Many games have already been played this year with ‘blitz’ tournaments taking place in Knocklyon, Ballyowen Lucan and the most recent event was hosted by Swords Celtic.

There were teams taking part from the many clubs across the capital which have established FOOTBALL FOR ALL sections for their communities. Bohemians FC, Castleknock Celtic, Finglas Utd, Glasnevin FC, Knocklyon Utd, St John Bosco, and the hosts, Swords Celtic. Each club carried the flag of countries across the world. 

The events started with a parade of clubs and national flags.  There were emotional scenes during the event when a group of Ukrainians gathered among the participants and their Blue & Yellow national flag was draped around them. as the FFA organisers wanted to demonstrate the 100 per cent support for Ukraines who have been so tragically displaced from their homeland.

Knocklyon Utd’s director of FFA, Mick Kennedy, was again prominent in the organisation of this particular tournament. Mick worked hand in hand with Swords Celtic’s Chairman, Frank Kilbride. Mick & Frank were delighted with the progress being made with the increase in numbers of special needs participants in the country. They noted the number of clubs which have indicated they are forming teams for FFA players. All of this is good news for the league authorities which will be starting the formal leagues for players with special needs in the coming months. Mick says that the excitement at these tournaments is special as we see the great enjoyment of the players participating in games.

FAI development officer, Heather Jamison, referred to the FAI’s programme which has as its central aim the delivery of football opportunities to people who may not ordinarily get a chance to play the ‘beautiful game’. She commended all those who have been involved in the events that have brought together the many teams to compete in the tournaments which have brought such enjoyment to all involved.

Caption: THE latest tournament in the FAI’s ‘Football for All’ series took place in Balheary, following up events in Knocklyon and Ballyowen Lucan. The most recent event was hosted by Swords Celtic and involved teams from Bohemians FC, Castleknock Celtic, Finglas Utd, Glasnevin FC, Knocklyon Utd, St John Bosco, and the hosts, Swords Celtic. 

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