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Soccer project counts on success

Young students in Dublin are benefiting from a unique EU funded programme that promotes social inclusion and uses soccer to teach numeracy.

Young participant in the More Than A Club initiative

More Than A Club is funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and Bohemian FC - a Dublin club fully owned by supporters - is putting the programme to good use.

The club’s More Than A Club team, led by Carina O’Brien, has run a number of innovative and successful soccer programmes, including one for teenage students in Luttrellstown Community College that had modules on soccer commerce, marketing, club finance and career development.

As well as earning FAI coaching badges, the students learned about how big sporting events are organised and the way sports clubs are run.

More Than A Club was also behind an inspirational initiative that taught numeracy through the medium of soccer.

The Double Club programme combined a maths class of 45 minutes with physical activity and used a course book designed around football and Bohemians.

Carina O'Brien said:

Each lesson has a top tip from Bohs’ manager Keith Long and we promote the players, members and volunteers of the club, the people in the shop, the groundsman. For example, we use concepts like the club shop - trade price, cost price, stock etc, to show how many scarves you can buy for your €20.

Former Dublin Lord Mayor, Niall Ring, presented almost 100 students from four local schools with certificates at the Mansion House for completing the Double Club programme during his term of office.
“For the kids to commit 12 weeks to this course is brilliant,” he said.

Bohs have reached out to its community. When I get to Phibsborough I see how much they are doing in the local area and in the local schools.

More Than A Club is funded through the ERDF’s Ireland-Wales Programme. Other clubs benefiting are Cork City and Welsh clubs Conwy Borough FC and Haverfordwest County AFC.

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