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Aviva Soccer Sisters ready to kick-off

THE Football Association of Ireland and Aviva have announced a revamped Soccer Sisters programme, which will see up to 6,000 girls aged between 6 and 14 learn and play football for free over the Easter holidays this year.

“The Aviva Soccer Sisters Camps have played a significant part in the growth of our game over the past number of years. The camps provide young girls with the opportunity to play in a fun, safe environment, something that is very important at that age and which helps to nurture a love for the game.”SUE RONAN

In excess of 150 camps and other activities will take place throughout the country between April 15-26. Aviva have worked with the FAI to help to double the amount of spaces available nationwide, and for the first time, it is completely free to take part.

This year’s festival format will incorporate Football Camps where participants will receive a limited-edition Aviva Soccer Sisters Jersey, and an official FAI Aviva Soccer Sisters completion certificate. In addition, many areas will see Football blitzes delivered with the emphasis on the non-competitive element of football.

Finally, increased participation numbers will mean that more volunteers will be needed to help to facilitate the game, and make sure that girls are playing in a safe and fun environment. Free volunteer and coaching workshops will also be rolled out in selected venues as part of the festival for parents to get involved.

All participating clubs will be in with a chance to win a place at the Aviva Soccer Sisters Dream Camp, which will take place at Aviva Stadium on May 29, where players will get the opportunity to play on the same field as their national heroes. Parents and coaches will be invited to nominate their clubs for a dream day out in the stadium.

Details will be announced via Aviva’s social channels in the coming weeks. Republic of Ireland women’s international players Niamh Farrelly and Isibeal Atkinson were on hand in Aviva Stadium to launch the Festival today, along with TV Broadcaster, Cook and Columnist Yvonne Connolly. Yvonne, who has always had a keen interest in sports, will be joining her daughter Ali Keating and getting involved at their local camp in Malahide this Easter.

Sue Ronan, Head of Women’s Football with the FAI, said; “The Aviva Soccer Sisters Camps have played a significant part in the growth of our game over the past number of years. The camps provide young girls with the opportunity to play in a fun, safe environment, something that is very important at that age and which helps to nurture a love for the game. This year we aim to attract around 6,000 girls to the camps, with many going on to join their local club and becoming the future of women’s football in Ireland.” Brian O’Neill, Head of Communications, Brand and Sponsorship, Aviva Ireland, said; “Aviva is proud to be involved with the FAI Soccer Sisters. We are committed to get more girls involved in sport at a young age and have worked with the FAI to make soccer more accessible to everyone. With the introduction of free places on camps for both girls and parents this year, we hope to bring the sport to a brand new audience. We are delighted to have Niamh, Isibeal and Yvonne here today, which shows that no matter what your level of exposure is to the game, you are welcome to participate.” The camps, blitzes and coaching workshops will run on various dates and locations throughout Ireland during the Easter school break. To find out more about Aviva Soccer Sisters and how to sign up for one of the Easter Football Festivals, log on to www.soccersisters.ie

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