Top of the Tree for FAI and Spar

Spar and the FAI have launched the fourth year of their partnership behind the SPAR FAI Primary School 5’s Programme.

Keith Andrews was back in his primary school in Marino in Dublin for a pop-up training session alongside Women’s International Megan Campbell.

The five-a-side school blitzes are open to boys and girls from 4th, 5th and 6th class, and puts an emphasis on fun and inclusivity.

The target for 2018 is to break through last years record figures and get 30,000 children playing from 1,600 schools in every county of Ireland.

“A partnership like this for us is all about getting involved at every level and way beyond the writing of a cheque,” said Spar Sales Director Colin Donnelly speaking yesterday to Sport for Business.

“We have a network of 400 retailers around the country and it is through them at a very local level that we can bring this project to life.”

“Sport is so important in helping children, and their parents to make Better Choices and that has been the theme of our involvement, to very good effect.”

“Last year saw a 61 percent increase in the number of girls playing across the country. They now represent 40 percent of the total players and that is a major element of what the programme is intended to do, to get more kids playing and having fun through sport.”

“This is a local initiative from each of our 400 stores as opposed to a corporate programme and it has benefitted from that individual ownership.”

“We back the stores through providing material and equipment that they can use to create a buzz around the Regional finals which will be kicking off next month and then all roads lead to the Aviva Stadium on 30th May for the National Finals.”

The SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme is an initiative organised by the Football Association of Ireland Schools Section(FAI Schools). SPAR’s support of the competition has been in place since 2015, and has seen participation figures grow year on year to become the largest primary school’s competition in the country.

The number of schools signing up for the participation programme has jumped from 1,064 in 2015 to 1,495 last year, benefitting thousands of more children in the form of encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle.

“The competition has gone from strength to strength thanks to the assistance of our sponsors, SPAR, who have been supporting the programme since 2015 and put considerable time and effort into making it a huge success,” said Sean Carr, Chairman of the FAI Schools.

“The nationwide spread of schools who are choosing to take part, and the increase in female participation, which now stands at 11,384 students is particularly pleasing.”

Join us on Thursday morning at the Marker Hotel for Breakfast with sporting and business leaders as we look ahead to the Sporting Year with Paraic Duffy of the GAA, Pat Keogh of Leopardstown Racecourse, Sue Ronan of the FAI, Diarmaid Murphy of the GAA and with Kelli O’Keeffe of Teneo PSG delivering insight on the relationship between sport and the Irish public. Reserve your place here.

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Image Credit: Seb Daly, Sportsfile

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