For the past 141 years, the Irish Football Association has organised, promoted and developed football. It has discovered some of the greatest talents to ever play the game, helped make history in major tournaments on the world stage and perhaps most important of all, engendered a life-long love of football in generations of men and women.
The Irish FA Foundation is the charitable arm of the Irish FA and exists to further equip the association to foster and grow the sport. Its mission is to promote, foster and develop football for all in Northern Ireland.
The Foundation has four main aims:
- Develop amateur football, youth football, schools football and futsal.
- Advance education by providing work experience and support to educational establishments and extra-curricular groups.
- To provide funds and football facilities in areas in areas of economic need with the object of improving circumstances.
- To improve the health and wellbeing of people in Northern Ireland through football.
Discover here some of the CSR Activities the Irish FA performs:
The Irish FA Foundation award-winning ‘Stay Onside’ Programme is a series of programmes aimed at young people and young adults to divert and deter them away from offending.
The programme is delivered in both custodial settings (Maghaberry, Magilligan, and Hydebank Wood) and also in community settings in partnership with community stakeholders.
Participants as part of the programme, complete the following workshops:
- Basic Coaching Skills
- Laws of the Game
- Football Fan Behaviour and Online Abuse
- Mental Health in Football
- Women in Football
- Racism awareness
- Disability Football
- Graduation Event
Participants gain essential skills and knowledge during the workshops, which provides them with the opportunity to volunteer in IFA events, gain coaching and or refereeing qualifications and build their CV.
The Irish FA Foundation is proud to partner with the Department of Justice, PSNI and NI Prison Service in providing a programme that has a real impact on the lives of the participants and the communities that they live in.
Ahead of the Game is the Irish FA Foundation’s mental health programme for football clubs.
The course aims to support clubs and volunteers when dealing with mental health issues, challenging the stigma around mental health, and promoting positive mental health and preventative measures. Ahead of the Game focuses on the idea and importance of starting the conversation around mental health in football.
The programme is a part of the UEFA Hat Trick funding for football and social responsibility and was developed in partnership with TAMHI (Tackling Awareness of Mental Health Issues), Inspire and Train 2B Smart Soccer.
The Irish FA hopes to contribute through some of their bespoke community relations programmes aimed at using the hook of football to break down barriers.