Sixty-four men aged from 18 years of age from across the southside of Limerick city have taken part in the latest Late Night Soccer League in Roxboro in Limerick.

Over the past number of weeks, eight teams of eight have competed in the Futsol competition, which is a collaborative project between Limerick City and County Council, Gardaí and the FAI. The league takes place at The Factory: Southside Youth Space in Galvone and involves the FAI development officer, gardaí from Roxboro Community Policing Unit aided by funding for the regeneration project.

The Late Night Soccer Leagues aim to encourage ‘at risk’ young people to participate in meaningful activities, thus reducing the potential for anti-social behaviour. The leagues take place four times a year, and are open to different categories. The latest league was for young men aged 18+ while the league before Christmas was for 11 to 13 year olds.

Jason O’Connor, FAI Development Officer for Limerick city said: “We floated the idea to run a late night league out to some local contacts and the uptake was phenomenal. We are delighted with the people taking part and the level of integration within the southside communities.” “The league is about social inclusion and engagement with other people from the area as well as gardaí in helping to break down barriers and stereotypes.”

Sean McGlynn, Project Manager with Limerick City and County Council said: “The local authority through regeneration is delighted to be involved with the Late Night League. We see the league as an important stepping stone in enhancing community participation and civic engagement with the end goal of making the community a better place to live.” “This project is building on the previous successful youth leagues organised before Christmas. One of the key recommendations of the Limerick Regeneration Framework Implementation Plan review is to continue to support sport and recreational activities – it just goes to prove how inter-agency responses to needs at community level can work and be successful.”

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