Local clubs are the heartbeat of many communities all over Ireland. They’re the first place some of our future international players learn how to play, where a love of sport is born & where some of us make our first friends. This year we visited Portmarnock AFC in Dublin and Creggs RFC in Galway to hear from them what their club means to its members and of course, what it takes to be a good club.
It takes Commitment. It takes Dedication. It takes Aviva.
0:00:02 Cian Hughes, U11's Assistant Coach at Portmarnock AFC
Portmarnock AFC was founded in 1879. It’s a club with over 500 players ranging from u7s all the way up to senior-level male and female.
As one of the many volunteers of Portmarnock AFC, it is very important and very fulfilling to give back to my club and to the local community as well.
It is an excellent club to be involved in. It’s inclusive, fun and it’s safe for all.
00:00:21 Grainne Buckley, coordinator for the Girls Academy at Portmarnock AFC
The girl's team initially developed back in 2015. A handful of girls wanted to play football, so we started up a training session. The first night there was 4 or 5.
We kept going and after a few months, we had enough to have a team. It took a lot of perseverance to get the girls side up and running cause it was the first time girls had played soccer here in Portmarnock. They just wanted to play football. They turned up every night. Hail, rain or snow they came out. They were a joy to coach.
In 2016, we took part in Aviva Soccer Sisters for the first time.
Our team were chosen to go to the Aviva, who’s festival of football out there and they had an absolutely amazing time.
What motivates me to come back here is just seeing players. They come out here, they try their best and they’re absolutely a joy to watch.
I think, to make a good club, everybody has to have the same values.
It’s very important to support grassroots in Ireland, and now that the women’s game is more visible in Ireland, it’s really inspiring for the kids.
00:01:08 Beth Flynn, U18's Portmarnock AFC Player
I started playing with Portmarnock when I was 10. We were the first girl's team, we were playing under 11s.
My dad and my brother both play football and there was no girls team up here so we decided to make a girls team.
I like playing soccer with my club because some of my friends play and I just love playing football.
It takes practice.
It takes hard work.
It takes dedication.
It takes perseverance.
It takes Aviva.
00:01:33 Video ends
00:00:06 Aidan Farrell, Creggs RFC Club President
Creggs Rugby Club is here in the village of Creggs which is on the Roscommon-Galway border. The rugby club was founded in 1974. We have somewhere between four and five hundred members.
The important thing is we feature mini rugby from the age of 6 to 12, all the boy's underage teams from U13’s up to U18.5’s and we have girls’ teams U14, U16 and U18’s.
00:00:29 Denis Buckley, Connacht Rugby Player
My time with Creggs goes back to about jeez over twenty years now. My first training session here was with the U8’s team. As I sort of got older and got into the Connacht set-up, I still kinda kept a pretty good connection with the club.
It’s really important to develop your rugby skills from a young age. There’s a lot of home-grown players and a lot of players from Connacht playing for Connacht. That all comes down to the grassroots connections with the clubs.
So I am very proud to be associated with Creggs. You know as things progressed and I got into the Connacht team, they were always there, and it was great that I could get back and do a little bit of coaching with them this year.
Long before they had this new development, the club was sort of built on close connections and the local community.
00:01:02 Aidan Farrell, Creggs RFC Club President
It’s fully run by volunteers, everybody, all the coaches, all the people who are out here, well 7 days a week now, it’s a very very busy place with that amount of members.
We were delighted last year to be the recipient of the Aviva Broker Community Fund.
We’ve put it to very good use in the development of the third phase here which is our new bespoke changing rooms for women’s rugby and a full gym with equipment suitable for people with disabilities.
All summer long we have the team train under our lights.
This is a community club first and a rugby club second.
That’s the only way you can be successful.
It takes commitment.
It takes character.
It takes community.
It takes Aviva.
00:01:44 Video ends
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