Much more than sport: Social inclusion is the aim of Limerick late night soccer

A collaborative project between Limerick City and County Council, Gardaí and the FAI has overseen a drop-in Futsal League at the Southside Youth Space in Galvone, Limerick city.

Much more than sport: Social inclusion is the aim of Limerick late night soccer

Organised by FAI Football Development Officer Jason O’Connor, the drop-in Futsal games are following on from the success of The Late Night Soccer League at the Southside location.

Late last year saw the introduction of the league which saw local Gardaí referee games between local schoolboy teams.

11-13 year-olds from local clubs Caherdavin Celtic FC, Carew Park FC, Janesboro FC and Limerick FC took part in the league.

In the new year, the Futsal League continuted on for young men over the aged of 18.

A key recommendation of the Limerick Regeneration Framework Implementation Plan review is to continue to support sport and recreational activities.

Jason O’Connor, FAI Football Development Officer for Limerick city, said: “We floated the idea to run a Late Night League out to some local contacts and the uptake was phenomenal. We are delighted with the people taking part and the level of integration within the southside communities.

"The League is about social inclusion and engagement with other people from the area as well as Gardaí in helping to break down barriers and stereotypes.”

Following the league for both age groups, the FAI have decided to continue to provide a weekly drop-in futsal games for the youth of the local area.

Gary Kelly FAI Auxiliary staff member explains that the drop-in games are “about increasing contact hours,” for local youth which he believes is both vital for their football developement and to help decrease anti- social behaviour in the local area.

* This story and video is part on an ongoing collaboration between the Irish Examiner and the University of Limerick.

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