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  • Northside West

Soccer course is more than a game

Tuesday, 4th December, 2018 1:00pm
Soccer course is more than a game

The students pictured during one of their visits to Dalymount Park.

Soccer course is more than a game

The students pictured during one of their visits to Dalymount Park.

Orla Dwyer

TRANSITION Year students at Luttrellstown Community College are taking part in a unique soccer programme in collaboration with Bohemian FC.

The Run The Club programme is part of the FAI’s ‘More Than a Club’ initiative and both Bohs and Cork City are piloting it.

Football Enterprise Coordinator for the FAI Carina O’Brien described how the programme works. 

“It’s a football programme but it’s for everything that happens off the pitch,” she explained. “It’s going really, really well.”

The programme is 15 weeks long with two double classes per week and nine modules in total. 

The modules include the commercialisation of football, marketing, club finance and career development. Each student gets a PDP 1 coaching badge when they finish the programme. 

“They all did their coaching badge and whether they use it or not, they all participated which is brilliant,” said Carina. 

She said the coaching badge could lead to employment opportunities in the summer when the FAI runs soccer camps.

“In Dublin 15, there is a huge population growth and they’re always especially short of female coaches,” Carina said. 

The current group in the programme has 20 students - 14 girls and six boys. 

“Some of the lads play football but most of the girls had never seen a live game in their life so we brought them up to Dalymount Park to watch a match.”

Bohs defender Paddy Kirk is involved in the programme and says his favourite part is seeing so many of the students, girls especially, finding a new interest in the sport. 

“It was nice for the kids to be able to talk to me about their programme as a lot of them come to watch us play and are intrigued and look up to Bohemian FC players,” Paddy added. 

He said it was “brilliant to see them get this opportunity” as they may not have gotten the experience elsewhere. 

Forty students will have gone through the scheme by the end of the year, with a second group starting in January. 

They have partnered up with Gaisce – the President’s Award - and are offering the bronze award to the students. 

Gaisce contacted the school through Carina’s sister Siobhan O’Brien who is a teacher at Luttrellstown Community College. 

“It’s something we have never done before,” Siobhan said. “I didn’t realise when we started how much they would gain from the programme.”

Siobhan said the most beneficial aspect is “getting to see how much is involved in running initiatives” and seeing behind the scenes of running big sporting events.  

“I think they have learned more in that class than in other academic classes,” Siobhan laughed. 

Carina hopes the programme will open the possibilities of other careers in sport aside from marketing and managing. 

“It’s kind of like a taster for transition years for what else you can look at and what you can do.

“Three people had heard of Bohemians before we started. Every single one of them know now,” added Carina. 

The scheme will have to become self-sustainable in May after their European-granted funding runs out. 

“We would love to roll it out in a couple of other schools in the geographical area in the future,” said Carina. 

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