ALMOST 200 kids celebrated another end-of-year fun day for Pearse Celtic recently at Coffey’s Field.
It was the first season back after almost two years' break due to covid disruptions and to see the pitches full with kids again, is something I don’t think any of us will take for granted again.
Like all clubs, Pearse have worked hard for the return of football in a safe and fun environment.
Their growing membership is a testament to their hard work. The Togher club continue to do tremendous work on and off the pitch and last week’s celebrations proved evident of the connection it has with its local community.
The kids from the academy and schoolboys teams enjoyed a day of fun spent with their families and team-mates to celebrate another year of involvement in football and academy and schoolboys co-ordinator Aidan Herlihy spoke of the importance football is for those kids.
“We can never underestimate the importance of sport in kids’ lives,” Herlihy said.
“We see firsthand the enjoyment that the kids and parents get from the games and we as a club are thrilled to be able to provide this for the kids.
“It is so important for the kids to have this facility at their doorstep and it is huge for us as a committee to see the joy so many get from our coaching.
“We had our fun day and awards recently in Coffey’s Field and there was a huge turnout on the night.
“Our football for all team, academy teams and all schoolboys teams were present.
“We had great games as we ran a blitz, penalty shoot-out competition, tug of war, and adults against kids matches.
“Also we had bouncy castles and entertainment like face-painting, balloon making and candy floss for all with plenty of drinks and sweets,” he laughs.
“This season was hard all round in the club but we stuck at it and we now look to do a bit of restructuring in the schoolboys section for next season.
Some teams lost their main players and then it was too late to drop down a division or two so there were teams that were in difficult competitions but huge credit to all teams we stuck at it and played all the games.
“And we as a club are proud to have done so. Like all clubs, it’s not always easy to compete if you are not up around the top of the league table, but as we kept telling our players, every game they will learn something from, and everything they will learn will help them in life, not just in football.
“We have a break now which is well deserved for everybody involved. It will be an opportunity for us as a committee to get together and plan what needs to be improved or changed going forward.
“We are constantly looking for ways to improve our club and to get players in from an early age and develop them as players and people is our number one aim.
“Next season we have academy teams from U5 to U11 and schoolboys teams U12 to U15.
“The club is constantly growing and with that, brings its own difficulties with more coaches needed.
“Also sponsored events like our fun day are much appreciated and we would like to thank HSS Hire Ireland, C&C Electrical, Tyre Stop Douglas, Keeling Decorators, Deep Clean and Co, K&M bouncing castles and local Sinn Fein TD Donnacha O’Laoire.
“Without their help, the club couldn’t possibly operate. At the moment we have 120 academy kids and 70 in our schoolboys section.
“We are always looking to increase numbers with both players and coaches so anybody interested will always be welcomed into our friendly club.
“Next season also will see us return to our home in Clashduv Park in Togher and we look forward to that.
“We are all looking forward to next season already but now we will enjoy the break and refresh before getting going again next season.”