Republic of Ireland Manager Stephen Kenny was joined by Republic of Ireland footballer Louise Quinn and former international footballer David Meyler, who gave tips and pointers to the children and oversaw medal presentations.
The SPAR FAI Primary School 5s is a fun five-a-side programme that caters for boys and girls in 4th, 5th, and 6th classes. Since SPAR Ireland took over the sponsorship in 2015, participation has increased by 196%, making it the largest programme of its kind in Ireland.
This year saw a record 1,081 participating schools, with 56,212 students involved. It was also the first year that Special Schools (Football For All element) participated, with 16 schools participating in the programme nationwide.
SPAR Ambassador David Meyler said: “It’s great to see kids back and competing in numbers in this fun and inclusive programme. It’s an amazing feeling to get to play in a stadium like the Aviva Stadium. I’m sure that these kids will have made memories that will last them a lifetime.”
International footballer and SPAR Ambassador Louise Quinn commented: “It’s so important for young girls and boys to have programmes like the SPAR Primary School 5s where they can learn the skills of teamwork, leadership and resilience while having fun in a safe and welcoming environment.”
Colin Donnelly, SPAR Ireland Sales Director said: “SPAR is very proud to continue to support grassroots football through the fabulously inclusive SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme.”
“Our independent network of local community SPAR retailers has been very supportive of this wonderful programme and its sense of fun and inclusivity. Seeing so many kids realising a dream by competing in the Aviva Stadium is hugely rewarding,” he added.
FAI President Gerry McAnaney attended the Aviva Stadium finals and said: “Getting more football played in Primary Schools across Ireland, and helping Primary school teachers become more comfortable in coaching the game in a fun and accessible way, is one of the key elements of our 2022-2025 FAI Strategy. We see the SPAR FAI Primary School 5s as the perfect platform to do this. Obviously, having the chance to play at the Aviva Stadium only adds to the sense of excitement for the kids, as we all saw.”
“It is very encouraging to see over 55,000 children take part in the SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme this year. The 45% participation of girls stands out, as the promotion of football for women and girls is fundamental to the game’s growth in this country. SPAR has been a brilliant partner in developing this Primary School 5s Programme over the last seven years, as have all of the inspirational teachers who have helped to make this happen. We have really enjoyed working with everyone to make the Finals Day a huge success.”
Source: SPAR Ireland
Read more about SPAR in Ireland
SPAR Ireland was established in 1963. It is operated by a leading wholesale and retail company, BWG Foods, now a subsidiary of SPAR Group Ltd Southern Africa.
With a presence across the Republic of Ireland, SPAR is one of the country’s largest convenience retail groups. In developing the business, SPAR Ireland has a long track record of recognising the strategic importance of new retail concepts. It operates three of the four SPAR formats: SPAR, EUROSPAR, and SPAR Express. These three formats bring consumers a comprehensive range of innovative products and instore offerings.