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Limerick’s Late Night Soccer League is much more than sport

Published Date: Wednesday 15th February 2017

- 64 men take part in latest league in Roxboro

Sixty-four men aged from 18 years of age from across the southside of Limerick city have taken part in the latest Late Night Soccer League in Roxboro in Limerick.

Over the past number of weeks, eight teams of eight have competed in the Futsol competition, which is a collaborative project between Limerick City and County Council, Gardaí and the FAI.

Pictured at the Indoor Soccer League Finals in Galvone were Garda Adrain Healy, Seargent Adrain Whelan, Garda Keith McCarthy, Roxboro Garda Station, Jason O’Connor, FAI and  Adrain Shine manager of the winning team from Hyde Rangers. Picture: Keith Wiseman.

The league takes place at The Factory: Southside Youth Space in Galvone and involves the FAI development officer, gardaí from Roxboro Community Policing Unit aided by funding for the regeneration project.

The Late Night Soccer Leagues aim to encourage ‘at risk’ young people to participate in meaningful activities, thus reducing the potential for anti-social behaviour.

The leagues take place four times a year, and are open to different categories. The latest league was for young men aged 18+ while the league before Christmas was for 11 to 13 year olds.

Jason O’Connor, FAI Development Officer for Limerick city said: “We floated the idea to run a late night league out to some local contacts and the uptake was phenomenal. We are delighted with the people taking part and the level of integration within the southside communities.”

“The league is about social inclusion and engagement with other people from the area as well as gardaí in helping to break down barriers and stereotypes.”

Garda Keith McCarthy from the Community Policing Unit at Roxboro Garda Station said: “The gardaí are very pleased to be involved in the Late Night Leagues. It is an ideal opportunity to connect with different sections of the local community on a less formal basis. It’s about building a rapport between the participants and ourselves, trying to see behind the uniform.”

“All the participants come from different walks of life but the league means they come together to work as a unit.”

Sean McGlynn, Project Manager with Limerick City and County Council said: “The local authority through regeneration is delighted to be involved with the Late Night League. We see the league as an important stepping stone in enhancing community participation and civic engagement with the end goal of making the community a better place to live.”

“This project is building on the previous successful youth leagues organised before Christmas. One of the key recommendations of the Limerick Regeneration Framework Implementation Plan review is to continue to support sport and recreational activities - it just goes to prove how inter-agency responses to needs at community level can work and be successful.”

The Late Night Soccer League takes place during prime anti-social hours and is based around the concept of using football as a tool for social inclusion and learning. Through partnership and interagency co-operation, the ‘Late Night Leagues’ aim to:

  • Divert youths from crime and anti-social behaviour
  • Encourage ‘at risk’ young people to participate in meaningful activities, thus reducing anti-social behaviour
  • Promote and further engage with youths and communities

Categories: News, Limerick City and County Council

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Format: 2017-03-27
Format: 2017-03-27