A CAREW Park teenager has become the first trainee to earn his soccer coaching badges as part of a social inclusion programme supported by Limerick FC and LIT.
Dylan Dore was greeted by a small army of wellwishers on arriving home for Christmas at Shannon, having spent four months earning his coaching spurs - at Arsenal.
As part of Limerick FC’s Reclaim programme, the 18-year-old will start coaching Limerick children during 2013.
“It was without doubt the best time of my life,” said Dylan of his time spent at the famous north London club.
“I love soccer but would never have thought that I would be able to get a career out of it but I can do that now thanks to this coaching programme. Everyone has been amazing to me; Pat O’Sullivan, all the people at Limerick FC, the people at LIT, John Keyes of Arsenal FC and all of those who looked after me so well at Arsenal. To be involved in one of their coaching programmes and learn so much is an experience I will never forget.”
The Reclaim project got off to a humble start earlier this year with Limerick FC getting local teenagers involved in clean-up projects in communities across the city. The restoration of a vandalised grotto in Southill was the first job they completed in August.
Arsenal’s John Keyes has been coaching local youths in both soccer and life skills in regeneration areas throughout 2012 as part of the initiative. And Dylan Dore has now become the first Limerick youngster to earn his coaching badges and apply what he has learned back home.
“Dylan’s homecoming and what he has achieved at Arsenal is a great moment for his family, community and indeed Limerick FC,” commented Pat O’Sullivan. “Arsenal has been unbelievably supportive to us. In the high stakes world that Premiership soccer is, it is so reassuring to see a huge club like Arsenal putting their time and expertise into helping communities in Limerick. We are confident that Dylan is the first of many young people from the city who will go down this route.”
LIT has also been centrally involved in Reclaim and put together a programme for Dylan in advance of his lengthy stay at Arsenal.
“As an institute we have long held the view that sport and education together have the potential to become a game changer for young people in marginalised areas and improving the social fabric of areas of the city that have fallen behind is a key element of our wider strategy at LIT,” commented college vice-president Jimmy Browne.