Martin O'Neill launches 2017 SportsDirect.com FAI Summer Soccer Schools
Camps to be rolled out nationwide after record-breaking year.
Records were broken by the Sports Direct.com FAI Summer Soccer Schools last year with more kids involved than ever before. And this summer promises to be just as popular!
The fun-filled camps are a fantastic way to introduce children to football and help them develop their skills. It is why Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill remains an ambassador and was on hand at Aviva Stadium today to officially launch this year's programme.
The Sports Direct.com FAI Summer Soccer Schools is the FAI's largest grassroots programme and one of the most important as it encourages children's involvement in sport, in a fun and friendly environment. Now in its 21st year, the summer camps had over 30,000 children from all around the country taking part last year - which was a new record with an increase of almost 5,000 children on the previous year!
Camps are priced at €65, with discounts available for siblings and multiple camp bookings, and aimed at children aged between 6 and 14 to football. The week-long camps come with a high standard of coaching and care delivered by Garda vetted FAI qualified coaches which is what sets them apart from other sports' summer camps. They begin on July 3 and run right through to August 25 (Monday-Friday 10:30am to 3pm).
Speaking at the launch, Ireland manager O'Neill said: "It is a great privilege to support these camps, which are superbly run by FAI coaches and allow the children to enjoy the game and make new friends. We are always on the look-out for the next Irish star player, so hopefully the star of the future can develop their skills on these camps while enjoying themselves."
Leonard Brassal, Managing Director of Sports Direct Ireland said: "We have partnered with the FAI to grow awareness and participation of the camps for the last three years and during that time it's been amazing to see the growth.
"Last year the camps smashed through their targets with nearly an additional 5,000 children taking part. For us, as a business, our football category continues to grow in line with the camps as parents see the value and quality we offer across clothing, footwear and accessories. 30,000 kids outside playing sport during the summer time is a big achievement for everyone involved."
All camp participants receive a new fully branded Sports Direct.com FAI Summer Soccer Schools kit, football, backpack and certificate. All attendees will also receive 20% off all Sports Direct clothing, footwear and accessories in store.
For the last three years, the FAI and SportsDirect have used their partnership to raise funds for Temple Street Children's Hospital as their charity partner. Thousands has already been raised for the charity which will continue throughout 2018.
To book a place on our camps CLICK HERE!
Republic of Ireland women's senior international Katie McCabe has been unveiled as the Sportsdirect.com FAI Summer Soccer Schools female ambassador.
The 20-year-old recently signed for Arsenal Ladies in the England Women's Super League and has forced her way into Sue Ronan's senior squad with six caps since making her debut.
As another summer approaches, Ger McDermott, FAI National Coordinator for Camps, is delighted to have McCabe onboard for a programme that offers children between the ages of 6 and 14 years old the opportunity to take part in a week-long, fun football environment.
"It's fantastic to have Katie as the female ambassador for the Sportsdirect.com FAI Summer Soccer Schools because she is very much a homegrown player and has come through our structures all the way to the very top," said McDermott.
"One of our key goals for 2016 is to dramatically increase female participation in the camps - both from a coaching and playing perspective. Having someone like Katie endorsing the camps is very important to help us achieve that.
"2016 is shaping up to be another record year for the Summer Soccer Schools with over 350 camps already signed up and there will be a camp in every county in the country, which is fantastic because we want kids in every community to be involved."
Bookings for the 2016 Sportsdirect.com FAI Summer Soccer Schools will open at the end of March with details being announced on our website and our Facebook page!
Applications to become a coach on the 2017 SportsDirect.com FAI Summer Soccer Schools Programme are now being accepted.
The application process will be open until February 26 and it allows young coaches the opportunity to put their skills to the test on one of the most popular youth programmes in the country.
Please be aware that in order to coach on our camps you must be cleared by Garda Vetting with the FAI and be certified in the Child Protection in Sport Awareness Workshop. Further information and instructions on Garda Vetting can be found here
In 2016, over 30,000 kids took part on camps all around the country. Beginners get to learn the fundamental football skills needed to be a player and receive a fun and dynamic introduction to playing the beautiful game.
More seasoned players will focus on more technical and skill-specific training and everyone will come together in the afternoon to participate in mini-leagues and small-sided games.
If you would like to apply to become a coach on the SportsDirect.com FAI Summer Soccer Schools programme, you can apply here