The FAI and Senior Women’s football partner Cadbury have come together this morning to launch a new initiative with the aim of encouraging the participation of 600 women to take up football in their local club.

FAI Cadbury Kick Fit is a new joint initiative targeting 20 grassroots clubs across Dublin, Wicklow, Kildare, Cork, Limerick, Kerry, Clare and Tipperary

The new pilot programme will run for eight weeks this summer and is a fun, non-competitive social programme for women with the primary aim to keep fit and create a social group, while encouraging recruitment of coaches and players to clubs.

It is managed by each club and supported by FAI Development Officers and FAI Women’s Football Programme Coordinators.

“Women’s football is seeing huge support at the moment due to our team qualifying for the World Cup for the first time, but myself and my teammates began at our grassroots clubs where the passion, drive and encouragement I received is where I found my passion for this sport,” said Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team Captain, Katie McCabe.

“Cadbury are supporting us as national players while also ensuring a spotlight is put on grassroots football to drive participation in the sport. I encourage everyone to get into their local club and simply start kicking a ball.”

Cadbury “Supporter & A Half” has directly supported women in football, from grassroots to senior level, since the partnership with FAI began in 2021.

It has driven awareness of the game and encouraged participation. To date, over 30 grassroots clubs have benefited from Cadbury’s support, with many more set to benefit from this years’ campaign.

“Cadbury Supporter & A Half continues to see Cadbury Ireland take an active role in the FAI’s strategy to raise awareness and grow the women’s game in Ireland through acts of generosity, which is synonymous with the brand,” said Managing Director of Mondelez Ireland, Eoin Kellett.

“Our support of over 30 clubs since the partnership began, shows how much we want to play our part in driving participation and with FAI Cadbury Kick Fit we aim to encourage even more grassroots clubs to become involved. It is a fantastic year for women’s football and we will continue to promote and support all those who want to take part.”

Shelbourne FC player Pearl Slattery is the FAI Programme Coordinator for Women’s Football and was also present at the launch.

“We’re thrilled to get FAI Cadbury Kick Fit off the ground,” she said.

“This is a wonderful campaign that will encourage women of all ages to get active and to enjoy football. It is so important that every woman, no matter their age or skill level, feels they can get involved and make the most of it. By working with Cadbury, we hope to cater for as many women as possible with this exciting new programme.”

People across the country are being encouraged to support grassroots clubs by purchasing a Cadbury product and help teams to recruit coaches, players, volunteers and club stalwarts.

A total of 8 grassroots clubs, 1 from each FAI region, who are registered with the FAI Club Mark programme with a senior women’s team (over 18 years), will be randomly selected to win direct support.

The prize includes advertising, media and PR to the value of €3,000 per club to run a recruitment drive in their area and help grow their women’s teams for the future.