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Tuesday 03 May 2022
Irish FA and safefood extend partnership to encourage healthy habits for kids

Safefood has extended its innovative partnership with the Irish Football Association that aims to use football to encourage healthy habits for kids.

The partnership will see the Irish FA and safefood expand the delivery of safefood’s football based ‘On the Ball – Healthy Know How for Active Kids’ programmes and events.

It will aim to teach the importance of healthy eating habits and being active from an early age to 3,300 children and 700 parents and carers across Northern Ireland.

As well as continuing as the Irish FA’s official safe and healthy eating partner, the extended partnership will welcome safefood as an official patron of the Education and Heritage Centre at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park. This will include free nutrition workshops for visiting schools, focusing on the benefits of healthy eating habits as part of an active lifestyle.

Fiona Gilligan, Director of Communications at safefood, said: “Safefood is proud to continue our innovative collaboration with the Irish FA as we look to expand our ‘On the Ball – Healthy Know How for Active Kids’ programme to over 3,000 children this year.

“We will continue to use football in creative and fun ways to educate children on the importance of eating healthily and how it can help them to be more active. By nurturing children to develop these positive habits during the early stages of life we can give them building blocks towards a longer and healthier life.

“We will also be working closely with the Irish FA to integrate important messages about safe and healthy food into the association’s Education and Heritage Centre, which inspires future generations of young footballers."

The ‘On the Ball – Healthy Know How for Active Kids’ programmes and events will include the rollout of a series of six-week after-school programmes across 48 primary schools, with 12 primary schools also participating in interactive community-focused festivals.

Safefood and the Irish FA will use a mixture of animated presentations, player videos, interactive games and quizzes to encourage children to make healthier choices such as eating more fruit, vegetables and healthy snacks, and swapping sugary drinks for water or milk.

Workshops will also promote the importance of a good night’s sleep for their development, encourage them to be more active every day and provide tips on reducing the amount of time they spend on their screens.

Stephen Garrett, Commercial Manager at the Irish Football Association, said: “The Irish FA are delighted to extend their strategic partnership with safefood which will seek to educate children and families throughout Northern Ireland on the importance of healthy eating.

“We’re particularly excited to embed this educational activity throughout the Irish FA Tours programme, via the Irish FA Education and Heritage Centre, by delivering free workshops to visiting schools throughout the year. For more information contact or visit”

Safefood is an all-island body with a remit of promoting the importance of good food hygiene in the family home and helping people make more informed choices about the food they eat.

For more information on safefood visit