Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Eddie Irvine helps launch George Best festival

Eddie Irvine with young footballers Jack Watson (left) and Alexander McIlmain, whose grandfathers played with George Best

Formula One hero, and Conlig native, Eddie Irvine has launched the George Best Foundation’s second annual ‘Best Way Forward’ football festival in Bangor.

The festival, which is aimed at promoting an active and healthy lifestyle amongst children and young people, will see over 1,200 primary and secondary children from across Northern Ireland visit the Eddie Irvine Sports Centre over the next two weeks to participate in non-competitive football coaching sessions in a fun and friendly environment.

Local sporting personalities including Martin Rogan (Boxing), Andy Ward (Rugby), Jeremy McWilliams (Motorcycling), Trevor Ringland (Rugby), Jamie Mulgrew (Football) and Johnny Taylor (Football) will also make surprise visits throughout the two-week festival, offering participating children top-tips and advice on sports training, diet and a healthy balanced lifestyle.

Speaking at the launch, Barbara McNarry, secretary of The George Best Foundation, said: “The ‘Best Way Forward’ football festival provides the George Best Foundation with the opportunity to use football to promote a healthy and active lifestyle amongst children and young people.

“We are expecting over 1,200 children from across Northern Ireland to attend this year’s festival where they will get the opportunity to play football and develop their skills in a fun, enjoyable, and rewarding environment.

“We will also raise participating children’s awareness of the benefits of a balanced diet and regular exercise and the adverse affects that drugs, alcohol and solvent abuse can have on a young person’s health, both physically and mentally.”

The George Best Foundation provides funds for research into liver disease and alcoholism, as well as supporting the promotion of a healthy lifestyle among young people.

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