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16 May 2022

FAI in €1.5 milllion boost to grassroots football

FAI in €1.5 milllion boost to grassroots football

The FAI is to inject an extra €1.5m into grassroots football in 2022

THE Football Association of Ireland is to inject an extra €1.5m into Grassroots football in 2022, in addition to the €2m in Covid-19 resilience funding from Government.

The Board of the FAI has approved the additional €1.5m boost for adult amateur and underage football as the game continues to recover from the effects of the pandemic.

The funding is the first commitment from the stated pillar in the FAI Strategy 2022-2025 to drive Grassroots as the heart of the game.

The Government has already awarded €2m in COVID-19 relief funding which will see €1.9m go directly to clubs and €100k to affiliates via an application process agreed with Sport Ireland.

Announcing the extra funding today, FAI CEO Jonathan Hill and Grassroots Director Ger McDermott confirmed that the additional €1.5m will be invested in campaigns and initiatives across the sector which will:

*Drive recruitment, retention and development of resources for volunteers.

*Increase awareness and education around volunteering, child welfare, refereeing, Football For All and women in football.

*Drive participation within the education sector across schools and third level, including education resources for teachers to educate students on and off the pitch using the power of football.

*Further support affiliated international teams.

*Fund planning with external partners to re-introduce a Grassroots fundraiser for all affiliated clubs.

*Fund a support grant to all affiliated Grassroots Leagues.

FAI CEO Jonathan Hill said: “We are delighted to make this announcement on the morning after the launch of our FAI Strategy 2022-2025 which mapped out our commitment to make Grassroots football as the heart of our game.

“The support of Government and Sport Ireland for Irish football has of course been significant  in recent years and the €2m allocated in direct funding from the COVID-19 resilience funds is greatly appreciated. 

“Now the Board have backed our strategy by agreeing to invest an extra €1.5m directly into the Grassroots game having listened closely to our stakeholders during the consultation period of the Strategy.

“The pandemic has presented many key challenges to our clubs and affiliates and we are working together now to address those issues. This new funding will be a major boost for those stakeholders.”

Grassroots Director Ger McDermott added: “This additional funding will, I am sure, allow our clubs and affiliates to recover quickly from the financial effects of COVID-19 and empower their plans for the future.

“The money will be allocated to projects that will make a big difference to growing Grassroots football in many of the areas that serve as the lifeblood of adult amateur and underage football across Ireland.

“Together with our Grassroots staff, I look forward to unveiling this extra FAI funding initiative to our clubs and affiliates and working with them to assist their applications for the Government Covid-19 funding.

“Details of that €2m funding application process will be announced shortly and we will then host a series of regional workshops to assist clubs and affiliates with the process.”

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