Bohemians launch their local More Than A Club project

Dalymount Park was the venue yesterday for the launch of the Bohemian FC More Than A Club initiative when new project staff, Carina O’Brien, Shane Fox and Ger Coughlan were introduced to local stakeholders who attended the event.
Among the large number of attendees were the Ard-Mheara, Micheal McDonncha as well as many local councillors and politicians who joined representatives from local authorities, key government departments and members of various local community groups in supporting the launch.

The More Than A Club project aims to develop new social enterprises aligned with professional football clubs in Ireland and Wales which will design, develop and deliver innovative social programmes centred on health, education and social inclusion. The pilot project is supported by the Ireland Wales European Territorial Co-Operation programme, which is helping to strengthen collaboration between Ireland and Wales to address common economic and social challenges.

The initiative will see the FAI and Welsh project partners, Vi-Ability cooperate with local professional football clubs in Ireland and Wales and assist them to develop social enterprise based community development schemes. These community focussed schemes will look to provide supports to address important social needs within disadvantaged communities.

The project will empower Bohemians to recognise and utilise the powerful attraction of football and the value of their own club brand locally to promote social good. It will encourage them to work in partnerships with key agencies and groups with an interest in community development to deliver important social programmes. In the process, it will see the club evolving as more valuable community entities becoming more relevant to more people locally.

FAI Competitions Director Fran Gavin was on hand to launch the initiative in Dalymount and said;

“The FAI is delighted to be able to facilitate this opportunity for the Bohemian Football Club and Foundation. We believe that if football clubs engage with their community in a more inclusive way, it can positively affect the club’s sustainability. We hope the model being developed in cooperation with Bohemian FC can act as a flagship model which other SSE Airtricity League of Ireland clubs can look to emulate”.

Following engagement with all League of Ireland football clubs within the Ireland Wales Cooperation area, Bohemian FC and Cork City were invited to participate in this pilot project because both clubs have demonstrated a genuine appetite to broaden their footprint in the local community and this was a major factor in these clubs being chosen for this pilot project.