The SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme was officially launched by former Republic of Ireland International Keith Andrews and current Republic of Ireland Women’s International Megan Campbell. The fun five-a-side football programme has gone from strength to strength and now stands as the largest primary school’s programme of its kind in Ireland.
Mayo schools have been to the fore in the competition with 96 signing up to the 2018 edition of the programme. Belcarra NS finished as runners up in the girls ‘B’ cup for medium sized schools last year while St. John’s NS from Breaffy finished 3rd in the girls ‘C’ cup for small schools.
Open to boys and girls from 4th, 5th and 6th class, the emphasis is firmly placed on fun, inclusivity and fostering a passion for physical activity. SPAR, in its 5th year as supporters of the FAI are looking to surpass 2018 participation figures, which saw a record 1,528 schools and 31,728 children don their sports kit to take to pitches and fields around the country.
Registration for the programme will close on February 15th, and county blitzes will kick off at the end of February so act quickly and sign up online at www.fai.ie/primary5. Winning schools progress from county level to regional then provincial finals, with a lucky 24 schools making it all the way to the National Finals, which will be held on the pristine pitch at the Aviva Stadium on May 29th.
The SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme is an initiative organised by the Football Association of Ireland Schools (FAI Schools). SPAR recently renewed its support of the FAI and the SPAR5s programme until 2021, support which has been in place since 2015 and has seen participation figures grow year on year to become the largest primary school’s competition in the country. The number of schools signing up for the participation programme has jumped from 1,064 in 2015 to 1, 528 last year, benefitting thousands more children in the form of encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle. Particularly pleasing for SPAR has been the increase in the number of girls putting boot to ball, 40% of participants are now female and SPAR, as well as Republic of Ireland Women’s International Megan Campbell, are eager to see this number rise again in 2019.
Register for the SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme by February 15th at www.fai.ie/primary5
Schedule of Events:
Ulster Finals: May 8th, 2019, Donegal League HQ, Ballyare, Co. Donegal
Connacht Finals: May 9th, 2019, Solar21 Park, Castlebar, Co. Mayo
Munster Finals: May 14th & 15th, 2019, Seanchoill Sports Complex, Corbally, Co. Limerick
Leinster Finals: May 16th, 2019, MDL Grounds, Trim Road, Navan, Co. Meath
National Finals: May 29th, 2019, Aviva Stadium, Dublin