Thursday, April 11, 2019
Arklow Town FC played host to the Wicklow 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, 1,054 of which hail from Wicklow. Through a series of local qualification rounds just 6 schools progress from a hard-fought Wicklow 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 final between the talented Scoil Naomh Brid and St Saviours school. Scoil Naomh Brid triumphed in what was a thrilling contest.
The ‘B’ Cup, for medium sized schools, again proved to be a compelling division with 8 teams involved. The final was eventually won by Gael Scoil Chill Mhaintain who proved a little too strong over a talented Carrysfort NS side.
The ‘C’ Cup, for large schools, was another hard-fought contest between 2 very talented schools. St Kevins Greystones eventually came out on top of the large school’s division.
The winners will now progress to the South Leinster Finals on April 30, at Bunclody AFC, Co. Wexford.
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 the 10th of April where there was a fantastic atmosphere throughout the competition.
In the Girls ‘A’ Cup, for small schools, Coolafancy NS defeated Kilcommon 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, Sacred Heart Aughrim sealed qualification to the next stage after they overcame a tough challenge from Donard NS.
St. Laurence’s Greystones put in a fine display against St. Mary’s Blessington to progress from the Girls ‘C’ Cup division for large schools. St. Laurence’s finished off the tournament with a 5 goal to 0 goal win and look in fine form heading into the South 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 Wicklow 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