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Wexford Girls Kickstart TY Football Programme: Breaking Boundaries in Sport and Education

Wexford Girls Kickstart TY Football Programme: Breaking Boundaries in Sport and Education

Danielle Mahoney

Here’s some amazing news that’s close to my heart – especially for all the football-loving girls out there. The Presentation Secondary School in Wexford has teamed up with Wexford FC and the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) to launch a groundbreaking Transition Year (TY) Football Programme for girls!

Starting this August, this program is not your typical school experience. It’s all about striking the perfect balance between sports, academics, and overall personal growth. And guess what? It’s the first of its kind in Ireland! How cool is that?

Principal Billy Ryan and Deputy Principal Scott Gaynor are buzzing about this collaboration. They’re all about fostering academic excellence while encouraging students to shine on and off the field. It’s more than just kicking a ball – it’s about building resilience, teamwork, and a winning attitude both in the classroom and on the pitch.

With support from the FAI and Wexford County Council, they’re not just teaching football skills – they’re empowering young girls with life skills that will set them up for success, whether they’re scoring goals or acing exams.

But that’s not all – they’re not leaving the boys behind! Alongside the girls’ program, there’s a TY course for boys happening at Ferrycarrig Park. It’s all about inclusivity and giving everyone a chance to shine.

Will Clarke, League of Ireland Academy Director, is also giving a big thumbs up to this initiative. He sees it as a game-changer for girls’ football in the South East. And you know what? He’s right! This program is opening doors and creating opportunities for girls to thrive in the beautiful game.

[Scott Gaynor (Presentation Wexford Deputy Principal), Will Doyle (FAI HPC South East), Alan Browne (Wexford FC Women’s Chairman), Jamie Stafford Doyle (Wexford FC), Freya de Mange (Wexford FC Women), Mark Ross (Wexford FC FSR), Carolyne Godkin (Wexford County Council Director of Services), Oisin McDonagh (Wexford FC), Ethan Boyle (Wexford FC), Cllr Aidan Browne, Lucia Donohoe (Presentation Wexford/Wexford FC), Tony Doyle (Wexford FC CEO).

“I think it’s fantastic to see young girls receive this ground-breaking opportunity,” says Ms. Lydia Murphy, a teacher and soccer mentor at Presentation Wexford. “It will help develop their sporting talents but also provides them the chance to further their education. Obviously I’m thrilled that we get to roll this out across the south east and as a teacher who loves football, I can’t wait to see them grow and advance themselves. Wexford has been a haven for girls and women and playing football in this country and for our school to be the first in Ireland to offer this is something that makes us very proud. This will be a very exciting move towards achieving equality in women’s sport.”

So, what can students expect from this program? Well, it’s not just about drills and tactics. They’ll be diving into everything from nutrition and injury prevention to football finance and journalism. It’s a whole package deal that’s designed to shape future football stars – both on and off the field.

Managing periods will be a module in the programme! Studies have found that girls, in particular, tend to drop sport once they start secondary school as they deal with menstruation and barriers that can create for girls in sport. And you know we’re all about breaking down the shame and stigmas when to comes to periods here at And we’re passionate about supporting readers to continue their love for sport.

But what about the students themselves? Niamh, one of the participants, shares her excitement: “One of my goals is to use this course as a way to explore future careers in football. Another is to improve as a footballer and to play at the highest level. Also I want to use this as a way to meet new people who have similar interests to me.”

Shannon, another enthusiastic student, expresses her gratitude: “I am so grateful for being included in this course as it provides me with many opportunities and new experiences. Me and all the other girls are really excited for it and are grateful that our school has the facilities to make this possible.”

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Niamh adds, “I think any girl who is interested in soccer should do this course as it is a great way to do something you love, while developing your skills and meeting new people.”

As a former Presentation girl myself, seeing this programme come to life fills me with pride. It’s a testament to the dedication of our school and the commitment to equality in women’s sport. This isn’t just about kicking a ball – it’s about kicking down barriers and showing the world what girls can do.

So, here’s to all the girls who will lace up their boots and chase their dreams on the field. This is your time to shine, and we couldn’t be more excited to cheer you on every step of the way! Let’s show them what Wexford girls are made of!

To register your interest in enrolling in this course for the 2024/2025 year, please complete for the form here.

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