Today sees the formal launch of Celtic FC Foundation’s Summer Games in Ireland, hosted at Ballina Town FC in Co. Mayo.
Celtic FC Foundation’s Summer Games programme runs from June to September and will give young people aged 10-13 years across the West of Ireland – and specifically Mayo and Sligo – an opportunity to take part in coaching, fun football sessions and tournaments delivered in their own communities. All activities are free of charge and are designed to give children and young people a chance to play and be involved in positive activities at a time of year when they have a lot of free time, and when parents and carers need to find affordable options for entertainment.
A percentage of the proceeds raised through the recent Gala Dinner in New York, in addition to a portion of the funds raised at the 2019 Gala which had been ring-fenced, will be devoted to the development of the Summer Games project.
Celtic FC Foundation CEO Tony Hamilton said:
“Initiatives like this are hugely important for us at Celtic FC Foundation. Having the opportunity to replicate what we do in Glasgow in Ireland should make a difference to many families through the summer.
“It’s important we maintain our links with Ireland and I can’t think of a better way to do it in this challenging economic climate than providing this opportunity for families.”
This year the Summer Games programme has teamed up with local delivery partners at the Sport and Social Change Network Ireland and received additional funding from Parkside Community Development Ltd, a locally based company, focused on combating social exclusion to extend our networks and ensure a programme that will engage young people of all backgrounds in some fantastic summer football.
Padraig Moore Chairman of Parkside Community Development Ltd said ” We were delighted to contribute to the funding of the summer games programme where children will have the opportunity to participate in sports over the summer regardless of their income status or background. The fact that the camps are offered free of charge and open to all is what convinced us to partner with the initiative and we wish Celtic FC foundation all the best with their summer programme.
Clair Cooke, Head Teacher of Culleens National School said: “I am so pleased that we were able to bring some of our pupils to the Summer Games tournament today.
“Celtic FC have a great affiliation and history with the West of Ireland so the Celtic FC Foundation providing these opportunities at a time when money is tight and young people have time on their hands is a great way to continue that connection with the community.
“Our young people had a brilliant time with some great coaches, and I look forward to seeing more of these sessions over the summer.’