On Friday 10th may, ninety children from a number of primary schools in North Dublin were proud recipients of certificates for participating in a new collaborative project between Bohemian Football Club and the Football Association of Ireland, from Lord Mayor of Dublin Nial Ring. There was great excitement as pupils from St Finbarr’s BNS Cabra, St Gabriel’s NS, Arbour Hill, St Catherine’s Senior School Cabra and St Laurence O’Toole’s BNS Seville Place all gathered in the Oak Room of the Mansion House as guests of the Lord mayor for the presentation ceremony.
The Double Club presentation was organised by staff of Bohemian FC via the ERDF funded “More than a Club” project. The morning was a celebration of the young people’s participation in the programme. Dublin Comedian, PJ Gallagher acted as MC for the event which also featured guest speakers, Lord Mayor Nial Ring and Bohemian FC Team Manager Keith Long. Also attending the event were first team players, Darragh Leahy, Rob Cornwall and Scott Allardyce who have become local heroes to the children having visited their schools during programme delivery.
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 Double Club numeracy initiative is just one of the many programmes being delivered by the Bohemian Football Club “More than a Club” team and it aims to help primary school children in North Dublin to improve numeracy skills and increase levels of participation in physical activity using an innovative collaboration with football and maths.
Lord Mayor, Nial Ring said at today’s presentation;
‘I am particularly pleased with the partnership approach in this programme to encourage young people to engage in educational and well-being activities within their local communities. It is important we recognise and support the sustainability of innovative initiatives like these in our city which is vital in creating socially inclusive communities’.
The FAI was also represented by Association President, Donal Conway who as a former maths teacher recognises the benefits of such an innovative programme for children. He said:
“It’s very pleasing to see the huge number of children who have participated in this programme. Football has the power to change people’s lives in so many positive ways and the innovative approach of the Bohemian’s More than a Club team to improving the numeracy skills of children using football as a tool is to be highly commended”.