The Electric Ireland Shooting Stars programme in partnership with the Irish FA Foundation is set to kick off again at the end of this month.
The programme, which looks to create opportunities for girls aged four to 11 to fall in love with football, will be staged at 16 venues across Northern Ireland from 28 March.
Sessions are due to be run in all 11 of the country’s council areas. It costs £25 per person to participate in the eight-week programme.
Lauren Moore, a Girls’ Participation Officer with the Irish FA Foundation, emphasised that the Electric Ireland-sponsored programme is delivered by qualified coaches in a fun, safe and friendly environment.
She said: “Most importantly the sessions are focused on learning through play, making new friends and developing the fundamentals for football.
“This is the second edition of the programme this year. The first tranche of Shooting Stars in 2022 attracted good numbers across 16 venues and we are confident the programme will be popular once again.”
Lauren also pointed out that some special guests will be popping in to the sessions to encourage the girls.
She explained: “The success of the Northern Ireland senior women’s team has helped to generate a greater interest in football among young girls here. I am delighted to reveal that in the build-up to the UEFA Women’s Euros in England this summer we will have guest appearances from members of the squad at each centre.”
Shooting Stars can also benefit local clubs through coach mentoring/volunteering opportunities.
The programme is being rolled out in the following areas/venues: Antrim and Newtownabbey - Antrim Forum; Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon – South Lake Leisure Centre, Craigavon; Belfast (North) – Girdwood Community Hub; Belfast – Shankill Leisure Centre; Belfast (East) – Lisnasharragh Leisure Centre; Belfast (West) – Brooke Activity Centre.
Also: Causeway Coast and Glens – Joey Dunlop Centre in Ballymoney and Ballysally Community Centre; Derry and Strabane - Foyle Arena; Fermanagh and Omagh – Bawnacre Leisure Centre, Irvinestown; Lisburn and Castlereagh – Moneyreagh Community Centre.
And: Mid and East Antrim – The Cliff, Larne; Mid Ulster – Backrow Sports Hall, Draperstown; Newry, Mourne and Down - Down Leisure Centre and Newry Leisure Centre; North Down and Ards - Bangor Aurora.
For more information visit www.irishfa.com/shootingstars.