NORTHERN Ireland football legends Pat Jennings and Gerry Armstrong were on hand to present the new McDonald’s Irish FA Accreditation to Coleraine-based Bertie Peacocks Youths FC after the club successfully completed the Accreditation process.
McDonald’s has been the Official Community Partner of the Irish FA since 2002 and the partnership is continuing to raise standards for local grassroots football clubs by introducing a new quality Accreditation Scheme.
This ensures clubs have appropriate facilities in place in terms of coach education, safety, child protection, refereeing, volunteering and administration. Forty five clubs per year receive assistance and support, including coaching bursaries, equipment and coach mentoring through the programme
Goalkeeping legend and McDonald’s Head of Northern Ireland Football Pat Jennings commented: “I’d like to congratulate all the players, staff and coaches from Bertie Peacock Youths for successfully completing the McDonald’s Club Accreditation Scheme with the Irish FA. This new scheme is a welcome boost for grassroots football; it raises standards for local clubs by providing a benchmark for quality and demonstrates to players, parents and volunteers that the club has qualified coaches, is child friendly and safe. At McDonald’s we are committed to helping young footballers shine and the new Club Accreditation Scheme will certainly help us in doing this.”
Former International teammate Gerry Armstrong added: “Northern Ireland doesn’t have the biggest pool of players to choose from so we need to have the correct structures in place to ensure our young players are given the best possible opportunity to develop and learn the game. To have grassroots football clubs throughout Northern Ireland aiming for and achieving the McDonald’s Irish FA Club Accreditation is great news for the future development of our local talent.”
The representatives from the side that famously defeated hosts Spain at the ’82 World Cup were on hand to make the presentation during the Northern Ireland Boys’ FA National Games Development Day in association with McDonald’s at the City of Belfast Playing Fields, Mallusk.
Trevor Erskine, Irish FA Grassroots Development Manager commented: “Our Club Accreditation Scheme with McDonald’s supports the development of clubs that are working towards good practice by providing a clear and structured approach to improving the club. The NIBFA National Games Day provided a great opportunity to recognise those clubs who have already attained the Club Accreditation Mark and it’s certainly a fitting tribute to receive the certificate from two Northern Ireland footballing legends.”
The Club Accreditation Scheme is an important part of McDonald’s Community Partnership with the Irish FA, a partnership that is celebrating ten years this year.
This is delivering a lasting legacy for grassroots football through ongoing coach creation and education, through a series of regional Small Sided Games Centres and through the McDonald’s Irish FA Community Awards which recognise the unsung heroes of grassroots football. McDonald’s has also recently launched a new website dedicated to grassroots football, entitled McDonald’s Kickstart, where local clubs can secure funding for development projects, get access to once-in-a lifetime opportunities including your child’s chance to walk out as a Player Escort at Windsor Park and useful information on coaching or running a club. For full details visit www.mcdonalds.co.uk/kickstart