2013-09-02 18:09:28 - Efforts to establish a formal twinning relationship between Ennis and Langenfeld will move a step closer later this week when soccer players and officials from four local soccer clubs visit the German city.
Langenfeld is located between Düsseldorf and Cologne in North-Rhine-Westphalia, in the district of Mettmann. It is already twinned with Senlis (France), Gostynin (Poland) and Batangas City (Philippines).
Relations between Ennis and Langenfeld have been developing over the past four years strengthening links in the areas of culture and youth affairs. A delegation from Ennis Town Council visited Langenfeld in late 2010, while a group of students from Ennis also attended an International Youth Conference in the West German city. The formal signing of a Twinning Charter is anticipated before the end of 2013.
15 soccer players from various Ennis schoolboys clubs will be joined on their upcoming trip by 4 mentors including FAI Development Officer for Clare, Denis Hynes. The Members
of Ennis Town Council have approved and committed support toward the participation of the schoolboys team in the Sports (Soccer) Exchange Initiative, under the stewardship of Cllr. Michael Guilfoyle.
Mayor of Ennis Cllr. Mary Coote-Ryan said: “I want to wish the team, coaches and mentors every success and acknowledge the work done by the project leader Cllr Guilfoyle. This visit will build on the student exchange programme currently being developed between schools in Ennis and Langenfeld which is part of the ongoing programme supporting this Twinning initiative. It is likely that a similar sports exchange event will be hosted by Ennis in the next few years which will further strengthen the business and cultural ties with Langenfeld.”
Speaking ahead of the trip, FAI Development Officer for Clare Denis Hynes said: “This sports exchange initiative provides schoolboys with a unique opportunity to develop their soccer, social and language skills when meeting others with same interests and of similar age. It will also provide the coaches and mentors with an opportunity to develop networks among the sports / soccer fraternity which may result in a similar initiative being hosted in Ennis in the future. “
The four soccer clubs, namely Lifford AFC, Avenue United, Park United and Ennis Town, have received sponsorship for travel, accommodation, gear (jerseys and polo shirts) from a number of sources including Ennis Town Council, City of Langenfeld, FAI, Clare Schoolboys and Girls Soccer League, Cahercalla Motors, Treacy’s West County Inn and The Rowan Tree Hostel.