IFA Training Scores with Laurelhill Community College 24 March 2022 A programme of energetic IFA courses has hit the back of the net with pupils from Laurelhill Community College in Lisburn. The course was delivered by the Irish Football Association to Year 13 and 14 pupils as part of their BTEC National Diploma in Sports. The college is the only post primary school to provide this unique qualification for its pupils. The aim of the training was to complement the syllabus by equipping pupils with practical experience and theoretical knowledge involved in coaching. Sessions included an IFA Referees Course, Grassroots Introductory and Futsal Introductory. Councillor Thomas Beckett, Vice Chair of the Leisure & Community Development Committee said: “The training offered by the IFA equips young people with valuable knowledge and skills which they can transfer to both a club and school setting. “Laurelhill Community College has strong links with local sports clubs in Lisburn, including successful working relationships with Hillsborough Boys and Ballymacash Rangers. Additionally, many pupils currently play for and volunteer at clubs such as Lisburn Rangers, Lisburn Distillery and Lower Maze. It is hoped on completion of the programme, pupils can now make a real difference in our communities by using their new skills to volunteer their time and ease coaching pressure at club level. “Students are also involved in coaching sessions with Ballymacash Primary School, Killowen Primary School as well as coaching their Year 8 and 9 peers. They have also coordinated and officiated the Lisburn Primary Schools Football League every Thursday which has been a roaring success. “This mix of experience gained through the IFA programme has clearly had a positive impact on the pupils in terms of their skill set and enjoyment of the participants. I look forward to hearing how the pupils progress as they take their first steps on the coaching ladder.” Jimmy Walker, Chair of Sport Lisburn & Castlereagh added: “Sport Lisburn & Castlereagh was delighted to offer financial assistance to deliver this unique training opportunity within Laurelhill Community College. “The pupils have gained a wealth of new experience which will provide a solid foundation for a career or volunteering role within the local community. I would like to thank the IFA for supporting the programme and helping to inspire the next generation of sports coaches. Pictured: Pupils from Laurelhill Community College along with Mr J Martin, Principal of Laurelhill Community College School; Gary Devenney, BTEC Sports Tutor; Councillor Thomas Beckett, Vice Chair of the Leisure & Community Development Committee; Damian McLaughlin, Schools and Futsal Officer Irish FA; Faron Morrison, Sports Development Officer and Mr Jimmy Walker, Chair of Sport Lisburn & Castlereagh. Pictured L-R: Damian McLaughlin, Schools and Futsal Officer Irish FA; Gary Devenney, BTEC Sports Tutor; Mr Jimmy Walker, Chair of Sport Lisburn & Castlereagh; Faron Morrison, LCCC Sports Development Officer; Ellie Kenwell; Councillor Thomas Beckett, Vice Chair of the Leisure & Community Development Committee and Kurtis Lyons.