The launch of the 2009 National Irish Bank FAI Summer Soccer School programme for Westmeath, Longford, Roscommon, Offaly, and Laois kicked off in Athlone Town FC recently. This year will see up to 25,000 children from all over Ireland participating at over 290 camps nationwide – up from 270 last year with 21 camps taking place in Westmeath, Longford, Offaly, and Laois.
The National Irish Bank FAI Summer Soccer Schools, now in their third year, offer children from the ages of seven to 15 a fun summer activity that encourages positive healthy living. They are a value-for-money activity focused on participation rather than competition. Running from July 6 to August 28, each week-long (Monday to Friday, 10.30am to 3pm ) school is run under the direction of the FAI technical director Packie Bonner, and delivered by FAI-qualified coaches, all Garda-vetted in a safe and professional environment. Participants learn how to pass, control, chest, use two feet, tackle, head, and shoot. They'll also have great fun at the same time!
As an added incentive, children who book before May 15 will be included in a draw to win a place at a special training session to be run during the summer by Ireland manager, Giovanni Trapattoni.
Packie Bonner, technical director of the Football Association of Ireland, said, “We’re delighted to see the start of the 2009 Summer Soccer School programme in Cork, and I’m sure it will be a great success. This year we’ve introduced a completely new and exciting kit. Each child will receive a jersey, shorts, socks, ball and backpack which will add greatly to the player experience. As an added incentive, children can also get their jersey personalised with their own name or that of their footballing hero.
“The FAI is leading the way in terms of best practice in working with children in Summer Camps with all our coaches FAI accredited, Garda-vetted and all our head coaches medically trained and Irish Heart Foundation-certified through the training course they will all attend. These exciting developments, along with our excellent week-long programmes in Cork and the surrounding counties , mean that the National Irish Bank FAI Summer Soccer Schools will be the leading summer activity this year.”
Due to the camps’ increasing popularity, interested participants are being encouraged to book early to avoid disappointment. Bookings can be made through the dedicated National Irish Bank FAI Summer Soccer Schools website www.summersoccerschools.ie or by calling 1890 653 653. Participants can also book by post, using the application form which is available from all host clubs/venues.