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  • Northside East

Northsiders step up to the plate for Walking Football Festival 2020

Saturday, 15th February, 2020 6:00pm
Northsiders step up to the plate for  Walking Football Festival 2020

(Left and above) Some of the participants who took part in the Walking Football Festival.

Northsiders step up to the plate for  Walking Football Festival 2020

(Left and above) Some of the participants who took part in the Walking Football Festival.

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FINGAL County Council, in partnership with the FAI, hosted its first Walking Football Festival of 2020 in the new state of the art pitch at the National Sports Campus Indoor Arena in Abbottstown.

Over 120 players took part on the day which saw teams from Blanchardstown, Santry, Balbriggan, Coolock, Finglas, Cabra, Drogheda, Offaly, Celbridge, Naas and Arklow playing off in three groups with qualification for semi-finals and finals. Kildare Celtic won, beating Celbridge on penalties in the all-Kildare Derby final.

Speaking about the festival, Mayor of Fingal Cllr Eoghan O’Brien said: “It is great to see so many people over 50 interested in taking part in sport and keeping active. The growing number of people interested in Walking Football shows how popular and worthwhile this event is.”

Local FAI/Fingal County Council Development Officer Paul Breen said: “Fourteen teams participated in a fantastic day’s football, proving you are never too old to enjoy the beautiful game.

“Targeted for the over 50s, walking football is a great way for people to keep both physically and socially active, whilst enjoying the game. 

"As numbers are now growing, our aim is to segment groups into two Divisions; 50 to 60  and over 60s.”

FAI Grassroots Manager Gerry Reardon said: “Developing this format, we look forward to another festival in approximately six weeks’ time, where we will segment age-groups for the first time. We plan to have two age groups: 50s and 60s+.

"We believe this could be a new recruitment tool to bolster numbers as teams previously made up of players of both ages, will now have to go looking for mates to fulfil the two age groups.

“There is also an all-Wexford Festival planned for February 28 and discussions for walking football to be part of the Street Football Festival in Galway in March."

Anybody who has an interest in Walking Football or would like more details of where matches takes place in their local area should contact FAI Grassroots Manager Gerry Reardon on gerry.reardon@fai.ie or FAI/Fingal Development Officer Paul Breen on paul.breen@fai.ie

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here