Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Elisha McCallion, hosted a reception in the Guildhall on Thursday night to acknowledge the success and hard work of those involved in local football.
The Sports Recognition Awards event was organised by the Mayor to recognise the grassroots work being carried out by the Irish FA to promote soccer and to get young people involved in the sport.
As part of the ceremony, local clubs were presented with their Irish FA McDonald’s Foundation Club Mark certificates while those who have made an invaluable contribution to the sport were also recognised.
Speaking at the event, the Mayor said soccer played a huge part of her everyday life.
“My two boys Daithi and Fiachra have both participated in the Irish FA programme and they have loved the whole experience.
“Not only has it improved their football skills but it has improved their confidence and social skills and given them so many opportunities to train and play alongside other children from other teams.
“The Irish FA does sterling work to promote soccer at venues across the Council area including St Columb’s College, the Ulster University at Magee and Castlederg High School.
“Over 700 children are involved affording them with so many opportunities to avail of including their club accreditation programme, coach mentoring programme as well as coach masterclasses and bursaries.”
Among those attending the ceremony was Michael Boyd (IFA) Launch of Youth Strategy; Patrick Nelson (IFA Chief Executive) as well as representatives from local clubs.