Cork City Council and the FAI team up for ‘Soccer on the Green’

24 June 2020
By Bryan Smyth
bryan@TheCork.ie

In response to COVID-19 and the fact that many summer camps, programmes, and activities have been cancelled, Cork City Council have teamed up with the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) to develop Soccer on the Green.

This activity is aimed at young people and will be held on greens in housing estates in Cork where FAI coaches will help the boys and girls develop their soccer skills, while having fun.

The pilot session was held in Greenwood Estate in Togher on Thursday 18th June, with great help from the Resident’s Association. FAI coaches Ray Claffey and Barbara O’Connell put 12 youths, all from the estate, through their paces, practicing keepy-uppies, dribbling and ball control, while all the time maintaining social distance.

Cork City Council’s Sports & Sustainability Section is now working on identifying further safe and suitable locations across the city for the programme to be rolled out to.

The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Joe Kavanagh, an avid soccer fan, said: “I’ve been really impressed by how engaged and inventive about keeping fit the young people of Cork have been during this pandemic and they deserve great credit for this.   We aim to make Cork a responsive and inclusive city but also a fun, active and healthy one and Soccer on the Green meets all of these criteria.”

Dympna Murphy, Head of the Sport and Sustainability Section in Cork City Council added: ‘The City Council is delighted to be involved in activities like this. It was wonderful to see the kids getting fresh air and exercise on their doorstep. It’s important to stay healthy in body as well as mind. if you’re struggling for ideas on how to stay active, fit and healthy in spite of COVID-19 restrictions, you’ll find some fantastic Cork City based resources on our website”.

The new Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Joe Kavanagh and his wife Stephanie, the Lady Mayoress, paid a courtesy visit to Greenwood Estate in Togher, where young kids took part in a Soccer Skills morning organised by Cork City Council. The children, while observing social distancing, received some great tips from FAI coaches Barbara O’Connell and Ray Claffey.
Pic: Brian Lougheed
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