School’s Futsal Programme kicks off this month

As part of the FAI Schools development programme, futsal is used as a way of introducing youngsters to the game of football and thus increasing grassroots participation within the sport.

The First Year initiative is the only national futsal competition for youth players.

The programme has quickly become one of the most popular sections of the schools soccer calendar, with talented students from all over the country aspiring to replicate the talents of Lionel Messi, Zico, Juninho, Kaka and Ronaldo. These legends of the football world have inspired youngsters to get involved and in doing so have increased the profile of futsal on an International scale.

20,400 children took part in this initiative last year which was activated inside a three month period in both our Primary and Post Primary Schools throughout Ireland.

With only one more week remaining, teachers are encouraged to sign up to this exciting initiative with online applications closing at 5pm on Friday, September 27. The primary schools application can be accessed on www.fai.ie/primaryfutsal while the post primary application is available at www.fai.ie/postprimarfutsal

There has been 128 days of futsal activity earmarked throughout the country for 3rd and 4th class boys and girls in the FAI Primary Schools Futsal programme with the Dublin qualifiers the first region to commence action in late September.

This month will see over 80 competitions commence in late September in the FAI Post Primary Schools Futsal Programme nationwide with Dublin the first region to kick things off. The students in first year will take to the courts to showcase their skills with some hoping to make it through their local qualifiers, progress to Provincial level and with the ultimate aim of gold at Nationals in early December. 

Last season 758 primary schools signed up to play, culminating in a total of 15,180 children taking part (43% female participation). The post primary schools had 280 schools registered, amounting to a total of 5,220 students in action of which 49% were female.

Now in its eleventh year, this exciting initiative has reached phenomenal participation rates. This is largely attributed to the hard work of the FAI’s Development Officers promoting the programmes at grassroots level as well as our excellent relationship with local teachers who have participated in other schools activities over the last few years. Now a regular fixture in the schools’ calendar, this is set to be one of the biggest years yet for futsal.

WINNING ABILITY

Over the last ten years, there have been numerous Provincial and National winners to grace this exciting competition, including St. Joseph’s College, Galway who made three entries at the National stage. The Bish Boys were fourth in 2017 but claimed the gold medal in both 2014 and 2009, while Claregalway College Girls were runners-up in 2016.

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