National Inclusion Awards
Carrigaline United Awarded Best Inclusive Sports Club
Carrigaline United Awarded Best Sports Club category in the CARA National Inclusion Awards for their FAI Football for All programme, against stiff competition from Killarney Celtic and Esker Celtic in Dublin. The awards, which took place on Friday 2nd December at the Crown Plaza Hotel, Blanchardstown, Dublin, recognise excellence in promoting sport and inclusion in clubs, schools, leisure facilities and third level institutions for people with disabilities.
As part of this National event, Paralympian Jason Smyth officially launched the CARA ‘Me Too’ campaign. A series of Me Too videos told the story of men, women and children with a disability in Ireland, and the positive impact participation in Sports and physical activity has played in their lives.
In highlighting his support Jason stated “I am delighted to support the excellent work of the CARA Centre in increasing awareness of sport and physical activity for people with disabilities. I am particularly excited to be involved in launching the Me Too Campaign which will mean that more people with disabilities will have the opportunity to tell their stories, share their experiences and highlight their needs in accessing sport and physical activity opportunities within their community”.
The ‘Me Too’ campaign will act as a catalyst for the development of a National Inclusion Charter being developed by CARA. The campaign involves a series of nationwide focus groups, highlighting the lived experience of people with disabilities, and their families, and the tremendous benefit inclusive sport and physical activity plays.
The launch coincided with the annual CARA National Inclusion Awards. The CARA Awards which are supported by the Dept. of Justice and Equality and Hyundai acknowledge the great work being done by organisations (Schools, Clubs, Leisure Centres etc.) and people who contribute to enhancing the access and participation of people with a disability in Sports and physical activity.
Niamh Daffy, Managing Director of the CARA Centre emphasized the significance of the Inclusion Awards stating “Now in its fifth year, CARA is delighted to see the number and quality of applications for the National Inclusion Awards increase year on year. It is essential that we highlight the good practice by people across the country in both a professional and voluntary capacity that facilitates access and participation of people with disabilities in sport and physical activity”.
Carrigaline United received the award for ‘Football For All’, an inclusive soccer programme for girls and boys from 6-18 years, who may not ordinarily have the chance to participate in team sports.
Established to provide opportunities to children outside of mainstream to play soccer, it has grown from 10 players in 2011 to over 60 players in 2016 with varying needs including ASD, ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Hearing Impairment, Cerebral Palsy and Down Syndrome.
Carrigaline United Football for All Chairman Killian Conlon said: “Our Football for All programme has grown from strength to strength since its establishment in 2011 and we are very pleased with how it has evolved over the years. We wish to continue this trend, meeting the needs of the community and involving more people in sport. This award is great recognition for all the hard work our children, parents, coaches and the club has put in over the years to make Football for All a success. ”
Sports Inclusion Disability Officer with Cork Sports Partnership stated “We are extremely proud of all the coaches, volunteers and players involved in the Football For All programme at Carrigaline United. The club are a fantastic example to other Cork sports clubs on how to open the doors to members of the community of all abilities. Sport & physical activity is for people of all abilities, the time has come for us to remove all barriers for people to get involved”.
FAI Football For All Development Officer Nick Harrison said "Their team of fifteen coaches are able to manage a large group of children with a wide range of ages and abilities very effectively and are one of the very best examples in the country of an inclusive sports club. From the chairman down through all levels of the club they work hard every day to ensure anyone who wants to play football can be accommodated. It is because of the immense work of Carrigaline Utd and the other FFA clubs in Cork - Midleton, Pearse Celtic, Mallow United and Skibbereen FC that the beautiful game is becoming increasingly inclusive across the county; there is a club for everyone, regardless of ability!
The programme provides ability centric training, making exercise fun while also promoting social interaction and team spirit. Along with weekly training sessions, players compete against other similar clubs across Munster and participate in the National Football For All Blitz organised by the FAI. For further information on Carrigaline Football For All programme, contact Brian: 086 277 8372 or Killian: 086 864 5700 at Football for All or visit: https://carrigalineunitedffa.wordpress.com/