IRISH FERRIES DONS GREEN JERSEY TO SUPPORT COMMUNITY INITIATIVE
Irish Ferries has donned the green jersey and become transport partner to Project Futsal, a joint initiative being delivered by the Football Association of Ireland and their Welsh counterparts – the Welsh Football Trust.
Against the backdrop of support that Irish Ferries provides for Irish soccer fans travelling to league games in Britain and further afield, and their history of operations between Ireland and Wales, the company has stepped forward to support the clubs and communities throughout the two countries that will become involved in the Project Futsal programme.
Project Futsal (an acronym for Football Used Towards Social Advancement and Learning) has the core aim of utilising football as a social inclusion tool in order to facilitate innovative community regeneration.
Part funded under the ERDF Ireland Wales Programme 2007-2013, the three year project will see resources being invested in twelve communities – seven in Ireland and five in Wales through which an estimated 400 participants on either side of the Irish sea will receive adult education, personal development training, football coaching and work/volunteer placements. A ratio of 50:50 male to female participants is the target .
Other objectives are to provide education and work opportunities for young people in disadvantaged areas and to influence and assist community regeneration via employment and volunteerism in the field of sport.
The setting up pan-disability football teams attached to the project will support the delivery of football to a wider range of players with disabilities in their communities.
The first in depth research on the effectiveness of football as a tool towards social inclusion and learning within disadvantaged communities will be undertaken on behalf of the project by National University of Ireland, Maynooth.