A very special evening was held at Ardrath Park on Friday night last, when Youghal United Football Club welcomed a representative from Pieta House and presented to him a cheque for €1,000. The money was raised by the hosting of a Christmas Tournament, organised by Chairman Thomas Clohessy, which was played on the Astro Turf on December 30th with eight teams participating, including local businesses. Entry fees, donations, and refreshments were all donated to Pieta House. Accepting the cheque on behalf of Pieta House, John Dempsey sincerely thanked Youghal United for their fundraiser and huge contribution “which” he said “will help enormously in the work which we do”.
Another great initiative of the Club was the setting up of the Football For All Programme in Youghal by Mossie Clohessy and Mark Hennessy in April/May of this year, which is to assist children with additional needs, aged 6 to 14 years, to play football and be active. Every Saturday morning since last April/May (weather permitting) members of Youghal United, with the help of parents, hosted football for the young children, who really enjoyed themselves. They were all present, with family and friends, at the cheque presentation and took the opportunity to play football together. They were joined by the senior members of the Club, whose training that night was cancelled, and who were delighted to kick about with the young players.
Mark Hennessy and Peter Landers told The East Cork Journal that the initiative has proved a tremendous success, which was obvious on the night as the kids were ‘having a ball’. “We had a great run since May, missing only one Saturday” they said “but it has been a very bad Winter and we really need a local indoor premises where we can continue playing. We are hoping that someone in Youghal will be able to offer this facility on Saturdays, as the kids really look forward to their weekly game and are so disappointed if it is cancelled due to weather”.
Sincere thanks were extended to all the parents who come with the children every Saturday to play, to the local Fire Brigade who thrilled the children one Saturday morning with trips on the Fire Engine, and to all the Club members for their dedication and support.
This programme now has 25 clubs nationwide to ensure the inclusion of children of all abilities in the football community in Ireland, guaranteeing that all children regardless of ability will, in the future, have the same opportunity to play football for their local club. Existing clubs cater for children with a variety of disabilities such as dyspraxia, autism and physical, intellectual and sensory disabilities. As well as regular training, children in Football For All Clubs get a chance to play for their local club in regular blitzes against other teams, both regionally and nationally.
If you can help with premises on Saturdays for these young children, please telephone 087 341 9422.