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Cadbury Partners with FAI to Launch Free Soccer Camps for Women in Cork

Women across Cork are being invited to participate in free social soccer camps this summer, offering an opportunity to meet new people, improve their fitness, and have a bit of fun along the way. Three clubs in Cork will be taking part in this year’s initiative.

Kicking off in May, the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) has partnered with Cadbury to launch several social soccer programs around the country, with three taking place right here in the Rebel County. Clubs in Bandon, Mallow, and Cork city will all be participating in the ‘Become A Supporter & A Half’ program this year.

This project aims to encourage women’s involvement in football, from grassroots clubs all the way up to the national level. The Cadbury Kick Fit program was trialed last year, with over 800 participants taking part nationwide, including a few successful groups here in Cork. The partnership has been supporting women in sports since 2021, with over 50 Grassroots Clubs benefiting to date.

The 8-week program will be running nationwide this summer and will offer a fun, non-competitive, social space for women to keep fit and meet new people. Individual football clubs will run the program in their own areas and will be encouraged to recruit female coaches and players.

Ireland Women’s National Team player Abbie Larkin expressed her excitement about the initiative, stating: “The women’s game has seen huge success in the past couple of years, and as someone who has come through grassroots clubs myself, FAI Cadbury Kick Fit resonates with me and my journey.”

Larkin highlighted the importance of the people who supported her, including clubs, volunteers, coaches, and referees throughout the country, which makes the game very special. “I’m excited for people to experience the joy of kicking a ball for fun and remember, all you need is a pair of runners, and you’re good to go,” she added.

This program follows the success of similar initiatives like ‘Mothers and Others’ GAA teams that have emerged around the country. Through sport, more women are now getting the opportunity to forge new friendships and communities, with some even making it all the way to Croke Park for exhibition matches during the All-Ireland Finals.

Pearl Slattery, the FAI Program Coordinator for Women’s Football, expressed her enthusiasm for the program’s expansion. “Last year’s pilot program went better than expected, and this year, we’re aiming to go even bigger, reaching as many women as we can. We want every woman in Ireland to feel welcome, regardless of experience, to come along, have fun, and maybe even discover a new passion!”

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