State-of-the-art football pitch for children who use walking frames unveiled in Dublin 8 months ago

State-of-the-art football pitch for children who use walking frames unveiled in Dublin

The pitch is the first of its type that specifically caters to frame football players.

A specially designed all-weather pitch catering for children who use walking frames has officially opened in Dublin.

The 2G Frame Football Pitch, located in Hermitage Park, Lucan, was opened by Mayor of South Dublin Mark Ward on Friday and begins its first week on Monday (17 September).

The Mayor was joined by Daniel McLoughlin, Chief Executive of South Dublin County Council (SDCC) and John Delaney, Chief Executive of the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) to open the first-of-its-kind pitch and celebrate the welcome addition to the wealth of inclusive sport and leisure amenities in South Dublin.

SDCC, with the support of the FAI, contracted Sports Labs Ltd. to design the specialised surface, in consultation with the Esker Celtic Frame Football team, and contracted Mc Sweeney's Ltd. for the build of the pitch over the summer months.

The local club, Esker Celtic, have developed a Football for All programme that is designed to cater for players who require the use of a walker style frame and also to those who feel that they can compete more equally by using these frames.

The Football for All Programme, set up by the FAI, is a network of clubs who provide opportunities for children with specific needs who may struggle to excel in the competitive environment of underage football or who need additional support to develop as footballers.

The game is played using the frame as an aid with the basic rules of football in four-a-side or five-a-side games.

The pitch at Hermitage will be the first of its type that specifically caters for frame football players.

John Delaney, Chief Executive of the FAI said: “This new pitch in Hermitage Park is key to the Association’s ‘Football for All’ strategy and culture. We want everyone to be given the opportunity to play football irrespective of their ability.”

“Working with South Dublin County Council and Esker Celtic, we know now that more players of all abilities will be able to play the game they love.”

Colm Young, vice-chairman of Esker Celtic Football Club also expressed gratitude at the event, thanking SDCC and the FAI "for having the vision and foresight to provide a much welcomed and needed disability footballing facility for the wider community of Lucan".

"Our frame and amputee footballers now have a place to call home," he said.

For more information, you can check out the South Dublin County Council website here.

Images via South Dublin County Council / Ben Ryan