Made up of five pillars (Participation, Organisational Development, Education, High Performance, Communications & Promotion), the Strategy aims to build on the fantastic work that has been done in all facets of the Football For All programme to promote inclusion in football on a far greater scale. Catering for anyone with a disability who wants to play football, the programme has made huge strides since its inception in 2002 with more players than ever before involved, over 35 clubs around the country, and notable progression made at international level.
FAI CEO John Delaney said: “The Football For All programme has been a big success story for the FAI in recent years with excellent work being done all around the country. It was an honour to launch the new Strategy, which will help the programme grow even more and enable us to cater for more players in communities that deserve to have the opportunity to play football should they want to. “The programme includes a variety of disciplines including Cerebral Palsy, Blind, Deaf, Powerchair, Amputee, Frame Football and many more. And that shows just how inclusive the programme is. We are thankful for the support of Government, our sponsors Tetrarch Hospitality, and all of the volunteers who help us to maintain this programme and we look forward to working with them in the future.”
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross said: “As Minister for Sport, I want to ensure that everybody, regardless of their ability or background, is provided with opportunities to participate in sport and to share in the benefits that physical activity can bring. “I want to acknowledge the great work the FAI is doing in making football available in so many communities around the country. It has developed excellent national programmes, including Football For All, that provides opportunities for so many people to participate in sport.”
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Brendan Griffin said: “It is extremely important that people with disabilities have every opportunity to participate in sport and physical activity for all the same reasons as for those who do not have a disability. “The FAI has been using football as a way to effect social inclusion by developing football opportunities for all players with a disability and has had a hugely positive impact for all its participants and for society.”