This year’s Youthreach annual football blitz took place in DkIT Sport recently.

The blitz has become the annual flagship event of a committee made up of Dundalk FC community officer Liam Burns, Dundalk Garda Station, the FAI and Louth County Council.

Youthreach is an education, training, and work programme for early school leavers aged between 15 and 20 years of age. It offers support to young people to help them identify what they would like to do in adult life and allows them to gain a FETAC qualification.

Co-funded by the Irish Government, the European Social Fund and the Youth Employment Initiative, it operates on a full-time basis and takes in new students all year round. There are 110 Youthreach centres around the country, including one in Dundalk, which is based on Chapel Street.

The blitz is usually held at Oriel Park but bad weather meant it was switched indoors, a decision that proved to be a big success and really added to the day.

The teams in action were Youthreach Dundalk; The Magnet Training Centre Dundalk; Youthreach Laytown; Youthreach Ardee; Navan Youthreach 1 and Navan Youthreach 2.

Garda Paul Burke, the Juvenile Liaison Officer at Dundalk Garda Station, was a key organiser of the event and he praised the various centres for their co-operation.

“Huge credit must go to all of the Youthreach organisations, the teenagers who attended and all the staff who came with them,” he said.

One of the Youthreach centre managers who was present on the day said: “We would like to thank the organisers for inviting our Youthreach to this year’s tournament.

“It was a fantastic event, very well run and our students really enjoyed the experience. The communication from officials on the day was very good.

“It wasn’t easy with the weather conditions but the change of venue at the last minute meant that the event could go ahead and it worked really well in DkIT Sport.”

For more information on Youthreach, visit the Louth & Meath Education and Training Board website.