We are happy to announce that last month we were given the congratulatory news by the FAI that Colemanstown United are the first club in Galway city and county to achieve the FAI Club Mark. The FAI Club Mark is similar to achieving an ISO standard in industry. It is an accreditation/ award based on best practice within a club in governance, management and administration. This award was launched in April 2018 by the Football Association of Ireland and only 3 clubs nationally to date have successfully attained the standard, namely Achill Rovers (Mayo); Gweedore Celtic (Donegal) & Park Rangers (Waterford) while another 16 are currently ‘in progress’. The 3 successful clubs were presented with their awards by FAI Chief Executive John Delaney.
Clubs start their journey for the award at Entry level and can progress on to become a One Star club (an award which opens in 2019). Each step challenges clubs to implement policies and procedures in line with best practice. To date Colemanstown United abides by 14 different policies ranging from our Club Constitution, Equality Policy, Volunteer Recruitment Policy, Roles of our Club Officers, Inclusion Policy, Social Media Policy and so on to include a Qualifications database for all our volunteers. In achieving this standard all qualifications of our volunteers including garda vetting, safeguarding children, coach education etc. were verified by the FAI. It provides reassurance to our members that we are a credible soccer club where achieving standards and abiding by our club policies and the FAI Player Development Plan is at the heart of our club.
The FAI Club Mark will help lead to an improvement of standards in clubs striving for the award. In fact it is an ideal avenue for a club to ensure ‘their house is in order’. Colemanstown United is run by a small dedicated team of volunteers who are currently implementing ambitious plans to continue to grow the club with the Soccer Sisters Programme currently in place in a bid to get girls involved in the game while our development plans are coming along nicely thanks to recent generous LEADER funding matched with the kind generosity of our many members and supporters who never cease to let us down in our various fundraising drives. The next stage of our development sees us provide a lighted perimeter walkway incorporating outdoor gym equipment which we intend to have completed by early Spring 2019. In the interim, we ask you to be patient and remain supportive as we strive to raise 30% of the walkway funds.
Colemanstown United FC is both delighted and proud to be the first Galway club to achieve this FAI Club Mark award/ standard. A special word of thanks to Robbie Parker for collating the data to meet the award criteria and for his professional liaison with the FAI. Also a word of thanks to Vincent Foley of the FAI for the spirit in which he guided us in our drive to achieve this award. The award is valid for 3 years at which point we are asked to complete a health check to ensure standards are being maintained. The onus is on us as a club to operate to the policies and procedures we have adopted and maintain those standards. We hope to tie in the official presentation of the FAI Club Mark Plaque with the opening of our new walkway and second full size playing surface early in 2019.