As the countdown to Euro 2012 this summer continues the FAI teamed up with Focus Ireland & Aviva launch this year’s “Aviva Soccer Sisters program” which aims to get more girls playing football.
The campaign has been one of the driving forces behind the increase in participation of grassroots soccer nationwide for girls since 2006 as numbers playing the game have shot up from 12,500 to 23,085
The program means that girls between the ages of 7-12 years old have the opportunity to play football in a fun environment with others in their own age group and ability.
TV3 Champions League and Xposé presenter Kirsteen O’Sullivan teamed up with Irish International players Dora Gorman & Ciara Grant & Irish Women’s Football Team Manager Sue Ronan in the Aviva Stadium to launch the 2012 Soccer Sisters program today.
TV Presenter Kirsteen O’Sullivan said at the launch:
“It’s great to see soccer getting more and more popular with young women which can be seen from the success of the Soccer Sisters program. It’s so important for young girls and indeed everyone to take up a healthy sporting activity, not only for the social and fun aspects that come with playing a team sport but also with sedentary lifestyles and obesity on the rise amongst Irish youth it’s an ideal way for young girls to keep fit and healthy. In all my years of sports reporting, it was very obvious that women’s soccer wasn’t gaining the same interest as men’s soccer and it’s fantastic to see an innovative program like really taking off and nurturing young talent and getting girls into soccer at an early age.“
The ladies were joined by the FAI, Aviva and Focus Ireland as The Soccer Sisters forms part of Aviva’s program with its charity of choice, Focus Ireland. Focus Ireland branding will appear on the free soccer kit each participant receives.
Commenting on behalf of Focus Ireland, Focus Ireland’s Helen Connolly said:
“Focus Ireland is delighted to be featured on this new jersey as Aviva’s charity of choice. Through this initiative Aviva is promoting awareness of our efforts to tackle homelessness in Ireland, and in particular supporting our work with children who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.”
Aviva Ireland is working to champion the battle against child homelessness through its 5 year partnership with Focus Ireland. Aviva’s partnership with Focus Ireland is to directly support the charity’s work with over 700 children – and young people under 18 – each year who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in Ireland.
Sue Ronan, Senior Women’s International Manager said:
“The Soccer Sisters programme has been one of the driving forces behind the successful increase in participation within in the schoolgirl’s game nationwide. Almost 12,000 girls have come through the programme since the programme began in 2006. It’s proved to be a great way to introduce girls to the game, and many have continued on to remain in the game by joining their local club”
Meanwhile, Mark Russell, Aviva Group Sponsorship Manager said:
“The Soccer Sisters is a program with a presence in so many counties throughout Ireland. Aviva is thrilled to support the initiative which is reflective of our own presence in each part of the country and of our deep rooted interest in sport and the benefits it brings.’
The highlight of the 2012 program will be the Aviva Soccer Sisters Easter camps which will take place in 63 locations around the country and provide upwards of 1800 girls an opportunity to get involved in football.
Participants learn new skill and the fundamental rules of the game in a fun and healthy environment that encourages new friendships and the development of team skills.
The three hour camps run daily for four days and will be overseen by FAI accredited coaches.