Friday, April 12, 2019
Ferrycarrig Park, Wexford played host to the Wexford County Final of the SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme on April 10. 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, 2,510 of which hail from Wexford’s 68 schools who entered. Through a series of local qualification rounds just 6 schools progress from a hard-fought Wexford County Final onto the provincial finals.
The ‘A’ Cup, open to boys and/or mixed teams from small schools, had 4 passionate schools with the talented Ballyduff National schoolcoming out on top in what was a thrilling group also including St. Joseph’s NS, Donard, Screen NS and Clongeen NS.
The ‘B’ Cup, for medium sized schools, again proved to be a compelling division with 4 teams involved. The group was eventually won by St. John of God NS who had to wait until the final game in the group was completed when Scoil Naomh Aine defeated Ballindaggin NS to confirm them as Champions. The result of this game also gifted Ferns NS the runners up position in what was an enthralling group.
The ‘C’ Cup, for large schools, was another hard-fought contest between Scoil Mhuire, Coolcotts and Bunscoil Ris, New Ross. Bunscoil Ris eventually came out narrowly on top of the large school’s division with Gorey Educate Together and St. Aidan’s PS also performing very well on the day.
The winners will now progress to the Leinster Finals on May 16 in Navan, Co Meath.
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 held on April 10 where there was a fantastic atmosphere throughout the competition.
In the Girls ‘A’ Cup, for small schools, St. Fintan’s NS, Mayglass continued their fine form in the competition as last year’s National Finalists defeated all teams in their wake quite comprehensively. Ballyhack NS, St. Mary’s NS and Ballyroebuck NS put in valiant efforts against last year’s Leinster Champions.
In the Girls ‘B’ Cup Final, for medium sized schools, St. Brigid’s NS sealed qualification to the next stage after they overcame a tough challenge from Riverchapel NS. Our Lady of Lourdes, Kilmyshall NS and Scoil Naomh Aine also put in excellent performances.
Bunscoil Loreto, Gorey put in a fine display against St. Aidan’s PSto progress from the Girls ‘C’ Cup division for large schools. Kennedy Park NS finished off the tournament with a draw against the eventual winners who looked in fine form heading into the 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, Honorary 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 Wexford 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 – Ross.Murphy@teneo.com | 086 0717652