More than 220 primary school boys and girls took part in the SPAR FAI Primary School 5s National Finals in the Aviva Stadium yesterday as 28 schools travelled to the home of Irish football for an action-packed day of matches that they’ll never forget.

That almost half of the more than 55,000 players that took part in the programme across the country were girls would have been impossible to believe a few short years ago but is now a fantastic reality.

Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny was joined by Republic of Ireland footballer, Louise Quinn and former international footballer, David Meyler, who gave tips and pointers to the children and oversaw medal presentations.

The SPAR FAI Primary School 5s, is a fun five-a-side programme that caters for boys and girls in 4th, 5th and 6th classes. Since SPAR took over the sponsorship in 2015, participation has increased by a spectacular 196 per cent and the programme has grown into the largest of its kind in Ireland.

This year saw a record 1,081 schools take part with 56,212 students involved.

It was also the first year that Special Schools participated, with 16 schools taking part in the national Football for All inspired programme. Four were selected to take part in the finals in the Aviva Stadium. The Programme is now the largest grassroots football programme of its kind in Ireland.

SPAR Ambassador, David Meyler, said: “It’s great to see kids back and competing in numbers in this fun and inclusive programme. It’s an amazing feeling to get to play in a stadium like the Aviva Stadium and I’m sure that these kids will have made memories that will last them a lifetime.

International footballer and SPAR ambassador, Louise Quinn, commented: “It’s so important for young girls and boys to have programmes like the SPAR Primary School 5s where they can learn the skills of teamwork, leadership and resilience while having fun in a safe and welcoming environment.”

“Getting more football played in Primary Schools across Ireland, and helping Primary school teachers become more comfortable in coaching the game in a fun and accessible way, is one of the key elements of our 2022-2025 FAI Strategy,” said FAI President Gerry McEnaney.

“We see the SPAR FAI Primary School 5s as the perfect platform to do this. Obviously having the chance to play at the Aviva Stadium only adds to the sense of excitement for the kids as we all saw.”

“It is very encouraging to see over 55,000 children take part this year and the 45 per cent participation of girls stands out, as the promotion of football for women and girls is fundamental to the growth of the game in this country.”

“SPAR have been brilliant partners in developing this Primary School 5s Programme over the last seven years as have all of the inspirational teachers who have helped to make this happen and we have really enjoyed working with everyone to make the Finals Day a huge success.”


Sport for Business Perspective:

In a world where children grow up faster than ever before it is a special thing to be able to see the delight on their faces as they do the simple thing of kicking a football in the magnificent setting of the Aviva Stadium. That almost half the players taking part across the country were girls would have been impossible to believe a few short years ago but is now a fantastic reality. 




Sport for Business Partners