The Goal for Peace Project, funded by the International Fund for Ireland (IFI) and Leitrim County Council welcomed two Arsenal in the Community coaches to Leitrim last week. This is the coaches’ second visit to the county having previously come to Leitrim in October 2011.
On Sunday, May 27, the Arsenal in the Community coaches held a coaching clinic in Manorhamilton. They demonstrated a number of drills and coaching games to the participants including shooting, ball control and reaction drills.
Damon Kearney, FAI Development Officer for Co. Leitrim assisted the session. He said that “coaches can easily adapt the drills to suit their own particular players in their respective teams”.
On May 28 & 29, the Arsenal coaches held a workshop and coaching session for the ten schools involved on the Goal for Peace Project. Eight schools from Leitrim and two schools from Fermanagh came together in Leitrim Village over the course of the two days where they were given coaching led by the Arsenal in the Community coaches.
The students rotated through various on the pitch stations designed to improve passing, shooting and control skills. Over the two days the children also completed a workshop. The social inclusion themed workshop included discussion on the various nationalities and cultural background of players in the Arsenal FC squad.
The workshop was designed to help students to understand how people from different cultures, religions and nationalities can work together to form a successful team on the pitch.
The coaches also visited Carrick on Shannon Community School where they gave a presentation to transition year students. The presentation gave the students an insight into the work the Arsenal in the Community department carry out in London and how this work benefits local communities.
The students were also given information on the Arsenal Gap Year Internship, this is a programme run by Arsenal in the Community that gives students taking a year out before starting college an opportunity to get involved in coaching in schools and community projects in locations such as Kenya, Barbados and Israel.
The same evening the coaches travelled to Drumshanbo where they gave a talk on their education programmes. The coaches outlined the success of one of their education initiatives called the Arsenal Double Club which teaches both academic and soccer skills to students in both primary and secondary schools in London.
Goal for Peace Co-ordinator, Gordon Burke said “We were delighted to welcome the Arsenal in the Community coaches back to Leitrim. Arsenal has been highly successful in developing sports based social inclusion and education programs in London and further afield.
“The coaches visiting us are involved in implementing many of these projects and some of their work has similar goals to our own. We felt it was important to build on our relationship with the Arsenal coaches which will help children from the schools in Leitrim and Fermanagh advance their soccer skills and at the same time improve their awareness of religious and cultural diversity”.
The coaches that visited Leitrim are vastly experienced in rolling out various initiatives and their department has been established for over 25 years. Since 1985 over one million participants have benefited from various Arsenal in the Community schemes.
The department has a number of full time and part time staff as well as volunteers that implement these programmes in both primary and secondary schools and the wider communities in London. For further details on the work Arsenal do in schools and the community visit www.arsenal.com/community.