Arsenal FC Coming to Leitrim

The Goal for Peace Project, are delighted to have two schools from County Fermanagh involved in Year 2 of the Project. The schools participating are St Columban’s Belcoo and Belleek Controlled Primary school. The Goal for Peace Project led by Leitrim County Development Board with funding from the International Fund for Ireland (IFI), are delighted to welcome to Leitrim three coaches from the award winning Community Department from Arsenal FC. Eight schools from around Leitrim and two schools from Fermanagh as well as the four Leitrim Soccer clubs will be getting the one-off opportunity to attend a training session led by three coaches from Arsenal FC Community Department.

The three Arsenal FC coaches are experienced in using the medium of sport as a way of encouraging involvement from children and adults from a range of backgrounds. They have shown a very novel approach of helping children with reading, writing and maths through match programme analysis, stadium seating and structure, player backgrounds to introduce geography and much more.

Part of the work of Arsenal FC Community Department has been to explore different religions and how they can have both similarities and differences in the way they celebrate events such as birthdays, Christmas and other religious events. This particular aspect of their community/social inclusion work was what interested in the Goal for Peace team in working with them and asking them to get involved in the Goal for Peace activities in Leitrim.

The Goal for Peace Project started in 2010 and gives the schoolchildren and clubs involved the opportunity to work together by learning sport skills, peace building games and ways of enabling clubs to be more attractive to both religions. The focus in year one of the project was on building relationships between Catholic and Protestants in Leitrim. In year two, the focus will be on building cross border links between the participating Catholic and Protestant schools in Leitrim and in Northern Ireland. The goal for Peace project is delighted with the agreement of St Columban’s Belcoo and Beleek Controlled Primary School to come on board the unique Goal for Peace project.

The 160 children participating in year two of the project include eight Protestant and Catholic primary schools from Leitrim and two schools from County Fermanagh. The schools taking part in the Goal for Peace Project from Leitrim include: S N Mhic Diarmada Kiltyclogher, Masterson National School, Manorhamilton, Newtowngore National School , Drumnamore National School, Hunt National School Mohill, Gortlettragh National School, St Mary’s National School and Marist Girls National School, Carrick on Shannon.

‘Arsenal FC has a number of programmes run through their Arsenal in the Community initiative that aims to achieve the similar objectives and outputs as the Goal for Peace Project. For example Arsenal in the Community has been involved in a number of religious exchange programmes that promote goodwill and understanding between young children of different faiths’ stated Stephen Cassidy, Goal for Peace Project Coordinator.

‘We are delighted with the progress made in this innovative project. This year is a very exciting time for the Goal for Peace Project with the participation of two schools in County Fermanagh, St Columban’s in Belcoo and Belleek Controlled Primary School. The Schools Development and Club Development Programmes in the project have proved a tremendous success and we look forward to the continued success of the project’ stated Nollaig Whyte from Leitrim County Development Board.

The Arsenal FC coaches will be in Leitrim during the first week in October and as a way of extending the influence of the Goal for Peace programme, a competition is currently running to offer the opportunity to 10 children to meet the coaches and take part in a coaching session. This is a once in a life time opportunity for children who may for one reason or another deserve a special treat. This offer is open to children under the age of 12. All entries must be back by Thursday 29th September and returned to: Stephen Cassidy, Goal for Peace Project Coordinator, Leitrim County Council, Aras an Chontae, Carrick on Shannon, Co Leitrim.

If you want to know more about Goal for Peace , you can contact Stephen Cassidy, Project Co-ordinator on 071 9650496, email  or web site .

  • Ireland Structural and Investment Funds
  • EU European Regional Development Fund