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  • Northside West

Bohs now ‘More Than A Club’

Saturday, 27th January, 2018 10:00am
Bohs now ‘More Than A Club’

Pictured at the launch are (l-r): Shane Fox, Carina O’Brien, Ger Coughlan (al Bohs), Fran Gavin (FAI), Chris Brien (Bohs), Lord Mayor Mícheál MacDonncha, Thomas Hynes (Bohs) and Derek O’Neill (FAI). PHOTO: DAVID FITZGERALD/SPORTSFILE

Bohs now ‘More Than A Club’

Pictured at the launch are (l-r): Shane Fox, Carina O’Brien, Ger Coughlan (al Bohs), Fran Gavin (FAI), Chris Brien (Bohs), Lord Mayor Mícheál MacDonncha, Thomas Hynes (Bohs) and Derek O’Neill (FAI). PHOTO: DAVID FITZGERALD/SPORTSFILE

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A NEW partnership between Bohemian FC and the FAI is aiming to deliver sporting programmes and life sciences to the wider Northside community.

The More Than A Club 18-month programme was launched at Dalymount Park last week and it will build on work already being carried out by the Bohemian Foundation.

It’s funded through the European Regional Development Fund’s Ireland-Wales Programme and other clubs benefiting are Cork City as well as Welsh clubs Conwy Borough FC and Haverfordwest County AFC.

Each club will be provided with two full-time and one part-time staff for the duration of the project with Carina O'Brien and Shane Fox working full-time with Bohs, while Ger Coughlan has taken up the part-time role.

Programmes, which will be delivered from February, will engage with all age groups in the local community and include numeracy through football with primary school children and sporting memories with older people.

The initiative will also support the Bohemian Foundation’s onging projects such as Walking Football for people with disabilities and soccer playing and coaching at Mountjoy Prison.

It is envisaged that the More than a Club Programme will develop on the success of the Bohemian Foundation and enable it to expand its reach throughout our community.

Bohemian FC President, Chris Brien, said the club was proud of what it does in the area.

"We have been involved with the Northside community for 128 years and as a members-owned club, we are very aware of our responsibilities to that community,” he added.

"The Bohemian Foundation has carried out a lot of work with minimal resources in terms of finance and people.

"We've carried out weekly walking football sessions in Cabra with children with autism and adults with mental health issues, and we have walking football in Ballymun for unemployed and retired people.

"In Mountjoy Prison, we run football coaching and competitions as well as comedy workshops with the prisoners. We've also run the comedy workshops for homeless people with Focus Ireland.

"We visit schools regularly to advise children of healthy eating habits among other things.

"We don't do this to feel good about ourselves. We as a club are in and of the north Dublin community and we have a duty to contribute to that community.

"We have a duty to help improve the situations of those people living in the area from which we garner our support.

"We hope that this partnership will allow us to move to another level so we can expand and build upon the work we've already been doing."

FAI Director of Competitions Fran Gavin said it was expected that the project would empower football clubs 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,” he continued.

"In the process, we will see the clubs evolving as more valuable community entities and becoming more relevant to local people.

"The FAI is delighted to be able to facilitate this opportunity for Bohemians and the Bohemian 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 this model being developed in cooperation with Bohemians can act as a flagship model, which other SSE Airtricity League clubs can look to emulate.

"The Bohemian Foundation's community engagement policy has already made a difference in many people's lives.

"Over the next five years, Dalymount Park will be transformed into a modern facility which will cater for the requirements of a successful SSE Airtricity League Premier Division club and, just as importantly, it will also cater for the needs of the local community, ensuring the club is placed at the centre of its community and fans."

Thomas Hynes of Bohemian Foundation with Carina O’Brien who will be working at the club full-time under the 18-month programme.

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