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29-08-2022 2:00 pm -11:55 pm
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24-09-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
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29-10-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
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Stephen Fitzpatrick Auction

26-11-2022 11:00 am -2:00 pm
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Ryleigh McComb, a young football coach at Valley Rangers FC in Kilkeel, has won the Young Volunteer of the Year award at this year’s McDonald’s Irish FA Grassroots Football Awards.

Hosted by radio personality Pete Snodden, the 2021 awards ceremony featured a raft of interviews with well-known footballing heroes, including Northern Ireland manager Ian Baraclough and McDonald’s Fun Football Ambassadors Pat Jennings and Casey Stoney.

Attendees of the event also heard messages of support from Junior Minister Gary Middleton MLA on behalf of the First Minister of Northern Ireland.

The annual McDonald’s Irish FA Grassroots Football Awards, which celebrate 21 years in Northern Ireland this year, recognise the incredible work and commitment of football clubs and volunteers who give up their time and make a long-lasting impact on young people and communities across Northern Ireland.

The Young Volunteer of the Year award recognises the contribution young people make in the community within grassroots football. The category is open to young people from 14 to 24 years of age that make a significant impact in helping to support and develop opportunities for people to participate in the local game. 

Ryleigh McComb said: “It’s an honour to win this award. We would love to make a big difference and for other girls to get involved in football more.”

McDonald’s Fun Football Ambassador Pat Jennings insisted the awards provide a great opportunity to celebrate the fantastic work that takes place at all levels of the grassroots game in Northern Ireland.

He said: “Congratulations to all of our award winners and nominees, who all work tirelessly in the background of their clubs to keep the local grassroots game alive.

“The McDonald’s Fun Football programme gives young people across Northern Ireland the chance to keep fit, healthy and active as well as engage with others in the community. However, it wouldn’t be possible without the unwavering support of our local grassroots heroes, and it has been fantastic to celebrate with them all again in person.” 

Through the McDonald’s Fun Football programme more than 75,000 children across Northern Ireland have benefitted from 250,000 hours of coaching, games and fun.

McDonald’s recently celebrated the huge milestone of providing five million hours of free Fun Football to children in the UK a year ahead of its 2022 goal, before vowing to offer 1.5 million more hours in the next 12 months. 

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