Stay Onside, the Irish FA Foundation programme aimed at diverting young people away from criminal behaviour, has been highlighted at a special showcase.
The event, staged at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park, focused on the positive impact of the ongoing programme, which is apartnership with the Department of Justice, PSNI, Northern Ireland Prison Service,Probation Board, Youth Justice Agency and various community groups and charities.
Stay Onside - it is delivered in both custodial settings (Maghaberry, Magilligan, Hydebank and Knockbracken) and in community settings - enables participants to gain a coaching qualification and improve their communication and presentation skills, and it offers literacy support and mental and physical wellbeing awareness, too.
Irish FA Vice President Jack Grundie told those attending the showcase the programme had been a tremendous success.
And a range of speakers, including Lee Tavinder and Mark Dennison (both Irish FA Foundation), Laura Adair of HMP Maghaberry, Una Williamson (PSNI), Andy George (Kick Off@3) and Lauren O’Malley (NIACRO), outlined the benefits of the initiative.
The showcase event, hosted by Cool FM’s Pete Snodden, also featured a short talk by Nathan Wilson, who is currently serving a sentence at HMP Magilligan. He said he had thoroughly enjoyed the programme, which had given him new-found confidence and a desire to get more deeply involved in football coaching.
See video above for Nathan’s thoughts on Stay Onside.