Belfast Telegraph

Runaway success... Lurgan primary school celebrates IFA award

By Staff Reporter

A school in Lurgan has become the first in Northern Ireland to achieve a Gold Award for fitness.

King's Park Primary and Nursery School was handed the accolade by the Irish Football Association.

Through the programme the Irish FA strives to maximise the number of schoolchildren exercising and playing football, enhance grassroots football, and develop school and club links.

Irish FA Foundation Schools manager Jonathan Michael said he was delighted to announce King's Park as the first gold standard primary school under the School Quality Mark programme.

He said: "King's Park play in a variety of competitions throughout the year and always give the pupils the opportunity to participate. To be the first primary school to achieve the gold accreditation shows the school's focus on football and the commitment of the staff to go above and beyond to provide after-school activities.

"King's Park's structures and processes will be used as examples of best practice to assist other schools in gaining a quality mark accreditation."

The Lurgan school won two national football finals this year - the NISFA five-a-side and NISFA large school seven-a-side.

They are also Northern Ireland cross-country boys' champions for the third year running and, for the first time, NI cross-country girls' champions.

"The promotion of sport and in particular of football for both boys and girls has been very much part of our school's development plan over recent years. King's Park has a long history of producing footballers who have gone on to play at senior level in the Irish League and beyond," said Ashton Shields, head of football at King's Park.

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