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Chairman Gets In The Game With New Football Tournament

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairman, Councillor Mark Murnin has just announced the first of his charity fundraiser events, the Chairman’s Be Active Cup Junior and Senior Football Tournaments.
The senior tournament will be the first of its kind in Northern Ireland which will bring sixteen teams from various leagues across the district together to compete for the champion title – winner of the Chairman’s Be Active Cup.

As part of its Community Fun Day at Tollymore Football Club, Newcastle on 29 July, the Irish Football Association (IFA) Grass Roots Programme will run a mini football competition. From this competition they will identify two teams, one which will represent legacy Newry and Mourne District Council and the other to represent legacy Down District Council; these teams will play each other for the Junior Be Active Trophy before the Senior final on 1 August at Newry Showgrounds.

Be Active Campaign

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairman, Councillor Mark Murnin said, “I am delighted to launch this football tournament, which incorporates many of my aspirations for the incoming year, in particular, linking communities throughout the district through health and wellbeing. The competition also supports the Council’s new ‘Be Active’ campaign which was launched last autumn, providing a fresh approach to promoting a healthy lifestyle, combining physical activity and recreation activities to encourage a healthier way of living.

“The tournament has been specially developed to provide a platform for football teams, young and old and for all abilities from across the district to play competitive sport. It will bring over 250 footballers together and afford them the opportunity to compete with neighbouring teams from other leagues.”

He concluded, “As well as providing an opportunity to link communities and promote health and wellbeing, the event will raise money for my chosen charities, Glebe House, Northern Ireland Air Ambulance, and Newry and District Gateway Club. I want to encourage everyone to come out and show their support for all the teams participating in the tournament.”

Chairman of Newry Mourne and Down District Council, Cllr Mark Murnin has a kick about with James O’Hanlon, Owen McCrink and Senan Watters at the launch

Positive Steps

Andy Waterworth, IFA Outreach and Volunteer Officer said, “I am delighted that Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has taken a positive step towards encouraging teams from across the Newcastle, Mid Ulster, Carnbane, Amateur, and Intermediate Leagues to come together through their passion for football.”

The venues for the games will be Jennings Park Newry, Kilmore Playing fields, Crossgar, and Newry Showgrounds where the final will be hosted by Newry City Football Club.

Newry City Special Olympics team, which had tremendous success at the 2018 Special Olympics Ireland Games held recently in Dublin, will be mascots at the final and will display their talents with an interval match at half time.

Kick Off

The tournament starts on 23 July and finishes on 1 August. For more information and a list of fixtures and results for the tournament, visit here and keep an eye on the Council’s social media pages during the coming weeks.

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Mayor Welcomes New Stand at Greenisland Football Club

Pictured is Mayor Councillor Peter Johnston, Deputy Mayor Andrew Wilson, Cllr Bobby Hadden, MEABC Director of Operations Philip Thompson and Mervyn Montgomery, Greenisland Football Club.

Mayor, Cllr Peter Johnston along with Deputy Mayor, Cllr Andrew Wilson and Cllr Bobby Hadden visited Greenisland Football Club to see the commencement of the works to provide a new 128-seater spectator stand and turnstiles, which will bring the grounds up to meet Intermediate League status requirements.

Mid and East Antrim Council in partnership with Greenisland Football Club have been working together to deliver this new stand. Through working in partnership, the club have been able to secure £45,000 of external funding and along with a contribution from the club Council are contributing £35,000 to deliver the £90,000 spectator stand.

Mayor, Cllr Peter Johnston said: Once again, I would like to pay tribute to Greenisland Football Club and in particular the time and commitment that the club members put into progressing this project.

“As a Council, we have been delighted to help fund a portion of this work and to enable the vision and objectives of the club to be met.

“Greenisland Football Club are a fantastic club and it is no surprise that they have recently been recognised from UEFA as one of the top grass roots football clubs in Europe.”

Mervyn Montgomery, Greenisland Football Club said: “We are indebted to the on-going support of our External Funders and Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, to enable us to build upon the existing facilities at Greenisland and to develop further our Community Sports Programs and Longer Terms Plans for the Club.”

This new stand will further enhance the major investment Mid and East Antrim Council made in 2018 through the delivery of a new 3G facility on the back of £100,000 of funding the club secured from SportNI.

The Club and Council had also secured external funding to upgrade the grass pitches, which are owned by the Council, in 2018 at a cost of £50,000.

Mid and East Antrim Council are committed to working with all groups within the borough to ensure that our ratepayers and residents have top class facilities which will improve their quality of life and their health and well-being.

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Irish Football Association Skills Programmes Helping the Community

Economy Minister Diane Dodds pictured at Windsor Park with Kris Lindsay, Community Sports Development Officer, Irish FA.

Economy Minister Diane Dodds has praised the work of the Irish Football Association in helping build the skills base of the local community.

The Minister met with community outreach staff from the IFA and heard about the work of the IFA Foundation, which has helped thousands of young people acquire a range of accredited qualifications since it was established in 2017.

The Minister said: “The IFA Foundation does excellent work in the local community building the skills base of young people. The Foundation helps young people attain vocational qualifications that not only make them more employable, but also boost their confidence and desire to potentially go on and study for more qualifications in future.

“This in turn embeds a culture of lifelong learning in young people. I know the IFA Foundation is keen to further build on their work by introducing apprenticeships and they have begun engaging with my Department to explore how this might be achieved.”

Keith Gibson, Acting Director of the Irish FA Foundation, said: “We were delighted to be able to welcome Minister Dodds to the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park to discuss our employability programmes.

“We also talked about our vision for engaging young people, including the possibility of introducing apprenticeships at the Irish Football Association.”

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