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Thursday 26 Sep 2019
Hundreds of girls aged 4-11 to be introduced to football through IFA initiative

The Electric Ireland Shooting Stars programme in partnership with the Irish FA Foundation has returned for another year.

And its second edition will be even bigger and better than the first with the addition of six centres to the already established 12 centres throughout Northern Ireland. 

Last season 2724 girls aged 4-8 participated in the inaugural programme, creating 4780 participant hours. In 2019-20 the expansion of the programme to girls aged 4-11 means participant hours will rise further, and even more opportunities will be created for young girls to be introduced to football.

The programme is a starting point for young girls who are encouraged to take the next step and join a local club, helping them move along the player pathway. 

Anne Smyth, Northern Ireland Sponsorship and PR lead with Electric Ireland, said: “We are delighted the Electric Ireland Shooting Stars programme will now be open to an even larger age group of young girls, igniting their passion for football and gaining important sporting and life skills. 

“Our aim is to continue to inspire the next generation of female footballers and support the Irish FA’s ambitious outreach to get more women playing football. The expansion of the programme is a huge step towards reaching this goal and creating more game changing moments for our girls.” 

Shooting Stars sessions will be rolled out in the following areas: Antrim and Newtownabbey - Antrim Forum; Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon - Richhill Recreation Centre; Belfast (North) - Ballysillan Leisure Centre; Belfast (South) - Olympia Leisure Centre; Belfast (East) - Avoniel Leisure Centre.

Also: Causeway Coast and Glens - Dungiven Sports Centre; Derry-Londonderry and Strabane - Foyle Arena; Fermanagh and Omagh - Omagh Leisure Complex; Lisburn and Castlereagh - Lisburn Leisureplex.

And: Mid and East Antrim - Wellington Presbyterian Church, Ballymena; Mid Ulster - Integrated College Dungannon and Mid Ulster Sports Arena; Newry, Mourne and Down - Down Leisure Centre and Newry Leisure Centre; North Down and Ards - Bangor Aurora.

For more information, including times and fees for the courses, visit www.irishfa.com/shootingstars