School kids encouraged to take part in IFA programme

Young people in secondary schools across Northern Ireland are being encouraged to take part in the Irish Football Association’s enterprise programme.

Geoff Wilson.
Geoff Wilson.
Geoff Wilson.

Now in its third year, the ground breaking three year project is aimed at 15-16 year-olds and uses football to engage students on key business and enterprise awareness, from innovation and product design, to sales and marketing, to physically developing prototypes for the programme.

Funded by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL), run by the Irish FA and created and delivered by eye4education; the partnership has been extended with Invest Northern Ireland becoming involved in the regional events and Northern Ireland awards.

Eleven schools took part in the first year of the programme with 23 taking part in year two; with the aim for the third year being to have 42 schools taking part.

In addition to developing and creating a Northern Ireland product; the pupils also receive a number of enterprise and football related workshops on sales, marketing, manufacturing and business administration.

Pupils are then asked to present their product to three dragons from the world of business and marketing in a Dragons Den situation; with one winner chosen from each school.

One overall winner is then selected and receives a grant to produce and sell 100 of the winning products in their school for school funds.

Project co-ordinator with the Irish FA, Geoff Wilson said: “We are really looking forward to rolling out the third year of the project and to continue working with DCAL.”