HAIL United - A Peer Support Initiative

Karolyn Ward - Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Almost a year ago, as one of the HAIL social events, we had a picnic in the Phoenix Park. We had a kick about and decided we would start a football team! The team consisted of two support workers also two peer support workers.  After a couple of training sessions in the park, the numbers started to grow.  We almost had a full team in the first three months and because of this, we decided to find a training ground and decided on the Inspire Fitness Centre in Cabra.  We started to train a couple of months ago and used the outdoor pitch which is astro five or seven aside. Our training regime starts with a warmup of exercises and soccer drills then we have a game for forty minutes - an hour in total.  We use the indoor pitch in the cold weather which is also a good pitch to play on. 

The interest in the team grew and we began to play a lot better together. In collaboration with our team manager John, and Mary from the Ballyfermot Mental Health Services, we had our first competitive game in Kilnamanagh football club’s outdoor pitch on the Greenhills Road, Tallaght, against Ballyfermot.  The match was a good competitive game which the HAIL team won by three goals. For our first ever game we played really well as a team. We tried out our players in different positions.  A couple of weeks later we had a rematch against Ballyfermot which we lost by three goals, playing in our home ground in Cabra.  Our next game was against Roslyn Park College playing in collaboration with Ballyfermot on their pitch in Ringsend.

The team is also enjoying the benefits of an FAI soccer facilitator training us for six sessions in a certified course, over twelve weeks, which started on the 21st of February. We play every second Wednesday in our training ground Inspire Fitness, Cabra. As the team is now well established, we decided to call ourselves HAIL United!

We are always looking for players to join the team, also for support from HAIL tenants, clients and staff, friends and family - all are welcome to attend.  As the summer is approaching there will be more games and tournaments coming up as the interest in HAIL football team is growing.  We should be training for the summer months in the Phoenix Park and at a picnic social event too.

 If you’re interested in joining or supporting HAIL United football team contact Patrick on the Peer support phone 087-3581229, contact the HAIL head office or talk to your support worker. Further upcoming social events will be advertised regularly and we would love to see you there!

By Patrick Clifford, Peer Support Volunteer 

(C) HAIL 2012