Friday, April 12, 2019
Tullamore Town FC played host to the Offaly County Final of the SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme on April 11. The SPAR FAI Primary Schools 5s Programme has seen participation figures grow year on year to become the largest primary schools’ competition in the country. 36,616 students from 1,691 schools are contesting the SPAR 5s this year, 920 of which hail from Offaly. Through a series of local qualification rounds just 6 schools progress from a hard-fought Offaly County Final onto the provincial finals.
The ‘A’ Cup, open to boys and/or mixed teams from small schools, had 20 passionate schools with 34 teams entered, with the talented Clonlisk NS schoolandSt. Broghan’s National School battling it out for top spot. Clonlisk NS triumphed in what was a thrilling contest.
The ‘B’ Cup, for medium sized schools, again proved to be a compelling division with 23 teams involved. The final was eventually won by Ballinamere NS. by goal difference with 3 teams finishing on 6 points each. Ballinamere NS. proved a little too strong over a talented Mucklagh NS & Ballinagar NS sides.
The ‘C’ Cup, for large schools, was another hard-fought contest between 5 very talented schools with 18 teams entered. Scoil Muire Banríon, Edenderry eventually came out on top of the large school’s division.
The winners will now progress to the Mid Leinster Finals on May 1 in Portlaoise.
The rise in the number of girls putting boot to ball has been particularly pleasing for sponsors, SPAR, as 42% of participants are now female. Participation in the girl’s division of the SPAR FAI Primary Schools 5s Programme reached an all-time high this year with 15,344 4th, 5th and 6th class girls registered making it more competitive than ever.
The Girls ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ Cup finals were also held on April 11th, where there was a fantastic atmosphere throughout the competition.
In the Girls ‘A’ Cup, for small schools, Clonlisk NS defeatedCoolanarney NS in a really exciting and hard-fought match which ended 3 goals to 0.
In the Girls ‘B’ Cup Final, for medium sized schools, Mucklagh NS sealed qualification to the next stage after they overcame a tough challenge from Killeigh NS.
St. Philomena’s NS schoolput in a fine display againstScoil Bhride Primary School, Edenderry to progress from the Girls ‘C’ Cup division for large schools. St. Philomena’s NS finished off the tournament with a better goal difference than Scoil Bhride Primary School, Edenderry to top the group and look in fine form heading into the Mid Leinster Finals.
The SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme has been in existence since the mid 1990’s and has increased student participation levels by 14.5% since 2018 up to 36,320. The competition is run across six divisions, ensuring that schools of all sizes are catered for. Boys and girls are encouraged to play together but there is a separate competition for boys and girls dependent on school enrolment numbers.
Dave Archbold, Secretary of FAI Schools stated, “This is our fifth year with title sponsors SPAR and I am delighted to report that the competition has grown yet again and now firmly holds the title of the largest primary schools’ competition in the country. SPAR’s ongoing support, both nationally and at a local level, has ensured the ongoing success of the programme and given 36,616 children an opportunity to get involved in a professionally-run, fun and inclusive programme. FAI Schools look forward to welcoming schools to the National Finals on Wednesday, May 29th in Aviva Stadium. We would also like to extend our thanks to all schools who have participated in 2019.”
Colin Donnelly, SPAR Sales Director said, “As a community based retailer, SPAR encourages a healthy and active lifestyle and is proud to be a supporter of primary schools’ soccer in association with the FAI. SPAR retailers in Offaly have been getting behind theSPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme, which encourages children to get involved in football in a fun, safe and inclusive environment.”
SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
Ulster Final: May 8th Donegal League HQ, Ballyare, Co. Donegal
Connacht Final: May 9th Solar21 Park, Castlebar, Co. Mayo
Munster Final: May 14-15th Seanchoill Sports Complex, Corbally, Limerick
Leinster Final:May 16th MDL Grounds, Trim Road, Navan, Co. Meath
National Final: May 29th Aviva Stadium, Dublin
For more information:
Diane Fay, FAI Schools - Diane.Fay@fai.ie|086 0404 952
Ross Murphy, Teneo – firstname.lastname@example.org | 086 0717 652