NORTHERN Ireland football legend Pat Jennings paid a visit to Lurgan to present McDonald’s Irish FA Club Accreditation certificates to local football clubs Dromore Amateurs Youth and Dromara FC.
The local clubs have all successfully completed the McDonald’s Irish FA Accreditation process and representatives were on hand to receive the certificates from Pat as he visited the McDonald’s Lurgan restaurant.
McDonald’s has been the Official Community Partner of the Irish FA since 2002 and the partnership is continuing to raise standards for local grassroots football clubs by introducing the quality Accreditation Scheme. This ensures clubs have appropriate facilities in place in terms of coach education, safety, child protection, refereeing, volunteering and administration. Forty five clubs per year receive assistance and support, including coaching bursaries, equipment and coach mentoring through the programme.
Speaking about his visit to Lurgan, Pat Jennings commented: “I was delighted to meet representatives from the local clubs and congratulate them on completing the Accreditation process.
“McDonald’s Club Accreditation Scheme with the Irish FA is a welcome boost for grassroots football in Northern Ireland; it raises standards for local clubs by providing a benchmark for quality and demonstrates to players, parents and volunteers that the club has qualified coaches, is child friendly and safe.
“At McDonald’s we are committed to helping young footballers shine and the new Club Accreditation Scheme will certainly help us in doing this.”
Local Irish FA Grassroots Development Officer Keith Gibson added, “Our Club Accreditation Scheme with McDonald’s supports the development of clubs that are working towards good practice by providing a clear and structured approach to improving the club. To have grassroots football clubs throughout Northern Ireland aiming for and achieving the McDonald’s Irish FA Club Accreditation is great news for the future development of our local talent.”
The Club Accreditation Scheme is an important part of McDonald’s Community Partnership with the Irish FA, a partnership that is celebrating ten years this year. This is delivering a lasting legacy through ongoing coach creation and education, through a series of regional Small Sided Games Centres and through the McDonald’s Irish FA Community Awards. McDonald’s has also recently launched a dedicated grassroots football website, McDonald’s Kickstart, where local clubs can secure funding for development projects, get access to once-in-a lifetime opportunities including your child’s chance to walk out as a Player Escort at Windsor Park and useful information on coaching or running a club. For full details visit www.mcdonalds.co.uk/kickstart