Work On Mini-Pitch Scheme Kicks Off In County Limerick

From: Dunphy Public Relations
Published: Tue Jul 01 2008


Limerick County Council has signed a 623,500 contract with Emerald Pitch Developments Ltd, of Clonbullogue, Edenderry, Co Offaly, for the provision of the Astroturf pitches at Abbeyfeale, Patrickswell, Hospital, Rathkeale and Cappamore. Funding will be drawn from the Limerick County Council Development Contributions Fund, and from the FAI and the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism.

Limerick County Council has teamed up with the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) to develop the facilities in each Electoral Area, as part of the UEFA/FAI Hat Trick mini-pitch scheme.

Under the scheme, launched in 2006 to mark the 50th anniversary of the foundation of UEFA, the FAI and the Department of Arts Sport and Tourism offered 35,000 per pitch to develop small sized all weather pitches. Primarily aimed at promoting soccer amongst school children, the pitches will also be lined to accommodate other sports such as basketball and futsal.

'The provision of these new facilities represents another major milestone in the ongoing development and promotion of soccer at local level', stated Councillor Kevin Sheahan, outgoing Cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council.

The Cathaoirleach added that the facilities would greatly assist the recently appointed Football Development Officer for County Limerick in carrying out his job.

'I look forward to seeing the results of the many progressive actions that are due to be implemented across the county, whether that is the implementation of coaching courses and the Schools Programme or the organisation of volunteer and parent workshops. I have no doubt that the Astroturf pitches will contribute to the success of these initiatives', the Cathaoirleach commented.

According to Mr. Ned Gleeson, Limerick County Manager, 'Limerick County Council is delighted to be able to work in partnership with the FAI in developing these facilities and looks forward to seeing them contribute to the development of the game here.'

Mr. Gleeson complimented the FAI for its continued work in improving standards within the game all over County Limerick.

He continued. 'Along with the many other initiatives being rolled out across the county by the Association, I believe that great strides are being taken to increase participation in sport among young people though various soccer programmes. This is something that Limerick County Council is very supportive of as it is cogently aware that by participating in sport, children develop lifelong skills and disciplines that will help them lead active, healthy, well-balanced lives.'

'I hope the new pitches, which are due to be in place by the end of the year, will provide an enjoyable and safe sporting environment for young people in various locations throughout County Limerick', Mr. Gleeson concluded.

Football Association of Ireland, Chief Executive Officer, John Delaney welcomed the announcement and paid tribute to all involved in the mini-pitch scheme in the Limerick area.

He said, 'Just over a year ago Limerick County Council and the Football Association of Ireland formed a partnership at local level to recruit a Football Development Officer, Conor Nestor and I would like to thank Limerick County Council for their vision and purpose in investing heavily in fostering social inclusion using football as a tool in local communities in this area.'

Mr. Delaney added, 'This is a very significant development for all involved in County Limerick. These five new mini pitches are the latest of 64 mini-pitches that are being rolled out across the country in conjunction with local authorities. These new facilities in the Limerick area will help the local community use sport, and football in particular, to address real issues such as active citizenship, obesity and social inclusion. The Football Association of Ireland is using football to tackle social issues and over the past three years we have increased our commitment to developing the game.'

-ENDS-

Mark Dunphy
Dunphy Public Relations
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